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Microsoft HoloLens: First Impressions


Microsoft HoloLens: First Impressions

Microsoft didn't use skydivers or stunt cyclists to introduce what it hopes will be the next big leap in computing technology. Instead, with its new HoloLens headset, the company is offering real-world examples to show how you might use three-dimensional digital images – or holograms – in daily life.

And that might be what it takes to get people to buy a computer they wear on their face.

I got a brief peek at what wearing the HoloLens could be like in different scenarios: performing a simple home repair, pretending to be a scientist studying the surface of Mars and exploring a colorful, animated game that added new dimensions to an unremarkable room.

Microsoft unveiled HoloLens at its headquarters this week, on the same day the company touted its upcoming Windows 10 software release. What I saw of the device seems unfinished, but it shows potential.

A crowded field
Some of the world's biggest tech companies are working on wearable devices that aim to create realistic, three-dimensional representations of alien worlds or imaginary creatures.

Google's computerized eyewear, Glass, isn't technically a virtual-reality device, but it shows the challenges of winning consumer acceptance. Google introduced Glass in 2012 with a Vegas-style stunt that included mountain bikes and skydivers landing on the roof of a convention center. Last week, it suspended consumer sales after many people balked at the notion of wearing a digital camera and Internet-connected device on their head.


Meanwhile, Google has invested in a secretive start-up, Magic Leap, that's working on virtual reality. Samsung and Oculus VR – which Facebook bought for $2 billion last year – are developing gaming headsets that essentially block the wearer's view and replace it with an imaginary world. Smaller companies have developed headsets for industrial or business uses.

Microsoft's HoloLens was built by engineers who created the Kinect motion-sensing system for Xbox games. It projects a realistic image on a screen in front of your eyes, but the screen is transparent, so you can still see what's in front of you. The holograms respond to gestures and spoken commands, detected by cameras and other sensors in the device.

Walking on Mars
The most striking demonstration involved a project in which Microsoft partnered with scientists from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They've created a vividly realistic, three-dimensional landscape by knitting together photographs and data collected by Nasa's Curiosity rover.

When I moved my head, the landscape shifted as if I was actually walking on the planet. I peered under a rock outcropping. I was joined by a digital avatar, playing the part of a JPL scientist. We spoke and used hand gestures to place digital markers on different rocks, in an exercise simulating how scientists might use the system to direct the rover's exploration.

A more whimsical demonstration involved the Microsoft-owned "Minecraft" game. In a small living room, the HoloLens projected three-dimensional structures and animated creatures on an actual coffee table. I summoned imaginary tools and blasted a simulated hole in the room's actual wall – and was surprised to see cartoon bats fly out.


But another exercise brought home how useful the gadget might be. I was guided through the process of installing an electric light switch. I saw a woman who showed me a series of sketches and talked me through each step. She was working in real time in another room, drawing sketches on a tablet computer and using Skype to talk with me. I could see the sketches, super-imposed over an actual wall outlet and protruding wires, while her face appeared to one side.

What's the potential?
Microsoft engineer Alex Kipman said the company has built programming tools so outside developers can use Windows 10 to create more holographic apps. Kipman called HoloLens "the next step" in moving "beyond today's digital borders." Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said virtual reality will be the next major wave in computing and communications.

Microsoft executives talked about other uses – from helping a surgeon learn a new operating technique to designing objects for 3D printers. I could also see applications in the kitchen, classrooms and retail shops.

But it's not yet clear when HoloLens will be out, or how much it will cost. While executives showed off a sleek prototype, they used a heavier, clunkier version for up-close demonstrations. It had cumbersome straps, wires and extra gear stowed in a pouch around the wearer's neck.

Still, if Microsoft can produce a working product at a reasonable price, it might help move computing to another level.

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Original article from NDTV Gadgets

Meizu m2 Review


Meizu m2 Review

Meizu might have some way to go before establishing itself as a serious player in India, but it's fairly well established in its home market China. In the business of smartphones since 2008, Meizu is one of the top 10 manufacturers in China. Following a heavy infusion of capital investment from Alibaba in February, the company announced plans to launch in India a month later and finally launched the m1 Note in May.

The latest product from its stable to launch in India is the Meizu m2. Priced at Rs. 6,999, the m2 offers a solid set of specifications and features, while keeping the price competitive. We explore the device in our in-depth review.


Look and feel
The Meizu m2 has a distinct look, which follows the same design philosophy that the company has used with all of its devices. It apes Apple's designs to a certain extent, especially the front which has only a single physical button. While this might look good, the button has to serve as both the Home and Back keys, since it's both touch sensitive and physical. Tapping the key serves as the Back command, while pressing down serves as the Home command. Apart from this, the front camera and earpiece at the top are the only other features visible on the front.

The 5-inch 720×1280-pixel screen occupies 71.4 percent of the front of the device and uses Asahi Dragontrail glass for damage protection. It's a convenient size, and suitably detailed with a 294-ppi density. While the display is decent in terms of colour, detail and resolution, it isn't quite as bright as we'd like, even at full brightness. This leads to readability issues outdoors under intense sunlight, as well as problems with viewing angles and heavy reflection off the screen.


The power and volume keys are on the right; the USB port and speaker are at the bottom; the SIM tray is on the left; and the 3.5mm socket is at the top. The back is simple and tasteful, with the camera and flash at the top, along with the Meizu logo near the bottom. We like the curved lower edges and dull finish of the m2. At just 131g, it's comfortable to hold and easy to grip. The m2 appears from afar to be metal, although the build is definitely polycarbonate.

The device does not have a removable rear panel, so the battery is not user accessible. The SIM tray on the left edge is a hybrid one, which means that you can have either dual-SIM connectivity or expandable storage, but not both. Fortunately, the device comes with 16GB of internal storage, which is always welcome at this price level. About 10GB is user-accessible, which should be sufficient for most budget users.


Specifications and software
The Meizu m2 is a 4G-capable device, with both SIM slots capable of supporting LTE connectivity. If you choose to use the hybrid slot for expandable storage, you can insert up to a 128GB microSD card. Apart from these features, the device has 2GB of RAM, a 2500mAh battery, and runs on a MediaTek MT6735 SoC. This is a 1.3GHz quad-core SoC with a Mali-T720MP2 GPU, and is commonly seen on devices in this price range.

The m2 runs on Flyme 4.5 OS, a highly customised skin based on Android 5.1. It bears very little aesthetic resemblance to stock Android, and changes a lot about how the system operates. While innovation in software is admirable and should be encouraged to help set devices apart, we can't help but feel that Flyme OS changes things only for the sake of being different. A lot of these tweaks seem unnecessary to us and only serve to complicate the user experience in our opinion.


The most significant change in Flyme is the lack of the three Android soft keys. Instead, the device has only one physical home key, which can be tapped or pressed for either back or home respectively. In order to access the app switcher, you need to swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen, avoiding the home key.

The notifications and quick settings menu are accessed via a typical swipe down from the top. However, unlike with other skins, a two-finger swipe will not directly bring down the shortcuts list, and it's among the least intuitive notification drawers we've used. The settings menu is also complicated by a two-layered interface which we didn't like the look and feel of, while a couple of the pre-installed apps seem designed only for China and can neither be used in India nor uninstalled. We feel that all of these changes are unnecessary and needlessly turn what should have been a straightforward user interface into one that's rather messy.


The Meizu m2 has a 13-megapixel primary camera with single-tone LED flash, along with a 5-megapixel front camera. Both can record video at up to 1080p and use all the available modes, including auto, manual, beauty, panorama, light field, scan, and slow motion.

The camera app itself is a bit slow, and switching between modes is buggy and takes too long, since it involves swiping the screen multiple times to get to mode you want. There are quick options for video, flash, filters and the camera switcher, so the rest of the app is not too bad.

The camera itself is acceptable for a budget device, but has some issues. Colours are a bit dull, with images appearing too soft and unexciting. Additionally, the shots lack detail when zoomed in to. Photos were susceptible to blur and noise issues, and a steady hand is required while shooting video. On the whole, we weren't too thrilled with the results.


(Click to see full-size image)

The Meizu m2 is a budget device, and features the MediaTek MT6735 SoC which is popular in this price range. It ensures decent performance in most day-to-day activities, as well as some high-intensity tasks such as gaming. The level of performance that we got from the m2 was suitably smooth and more or less on par with other similarly priced devices.

The phone also did well with our test videos, running all of them well, including the ones encoded at a high bit rate. Angry Birds 2 and Dead Trigger 2 both produced some heat at the back of the device, as well as heavy battery drain, but the build and materials used ensured that it cooled down quickly. The phone is usually snappy when navigating around the interface and basic apps, although we did find certain apps such as the camera and browser to be occasionally slow to load and process commands.

Battery life was average for a device in this price range, with the phone running for just under 9 hours in our video loop test. In day-to-day use, the Meizu m2 will run for a full day under moderate usage conditions. Most basic users will be satisfied with the performance of the Meizu m2 for their smartphone requirements.


Meizu is well established in China, but is an absolute newcomer in India with a long way to go before becoming a serious player here. The Meizu m2 is a good looking device that performs well for the price and comes with 4G capability, so the company definitely has the potential to do well in India with the m2. However, the Snapdeal-exclusive device is only available through flash sales which require prior registration, so it might be a bit harder to procure than a lot of its competition.

The device is not without its flaws. It has a complicated user interface that is different for no good reason, and a camera that takes only average pictures at best. It's best suited to basic users who have some experience with smartphones and Android in general. First-time smartphone adopters would do better with a less complicated device. However, if you're looking for good looks and decent performance, the Meizu m2 is a great option in the budget category.

Meizu m2 in pictures

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Meizu m2

Meizu m2

R 6999 3.5

  • Review
  • Key Specs
  • News
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Good looks and build
  • Decent performance and specs
  • Good value for money
  • Bad
  • Software is too complicated
  • Average camera performance

Read detailed Meizu m2 review





Front Camera



720×1280 pixels




Android 5.1



Rear Camera


Battery capacity

2500mAh See full Meizu m2 specifications

  • Meizu m2 Review

  • Meizu m2 With 13-Megapixel Camera Launched at Rs. 6,999

  • Meizu m2 India Launch Confirmed for Next Week

  • Meizu m2 With 13-Megapixel Camera, Android 5.1 Lollipop Launched

More Meizu mobilesOriginal NDTV Gadgets

Brainwavz Jive Review


Brainwavz Jive Review

Brainwavz is a relatively new company, established in 2008 with the aim of bringing good personal audio products to users at affordable prices. True to its motto, the company produces a wide range of affordable products, including the Brainwavz S0 and Blu-100, which we found impressive.

The company now has more of a presence in India, and one of its first official launches is the Brainwavz Jive. These in-ear headphones are priced at Rs. 1,899, and offer budget buyers a good option for their first aftermarket personal audio upgrade. We find out all there is to know about the Brainwavz Jive in our review.


Design, specifications and comfort
As with most in-canal earphones, the Jive features an extended earpiece that sits deep inside your ear canal, which gives it excellent sonic isolation. Additionally, the sales package includes a pair of Comply Foam ear tips, which ensure top-notch fit and improved isolation. Also included in the package are three pairs of silicone ear tips in varying sizes, a shirt clip, a cable wrap, a hard carry-case and strangely, a Brainwavz logo sticker as well, if you are into that kind of stuff.

The build quality is fantastic, thanks to the solid metal casing. The Jive earphones are available in some interesting colour options as well, and our purple review sample looked rather nice. The cable and in-line remote and microphone are also colour-matched. Although plastic, the remote is decent enough, with a three-button layout. The volume buttons work with iOS, while Android devices will only be able to use the centre button for answering calls and playing or pausing music. The cable is an ordinary rubber-wrapped affair which makes it fairly durable, but it’s extremely tangle-prone as a result. There are slight issues with cable noise above the Y-splitter.

On the technical side, things are pretty straightforward with the Brainwavz Jive. The headset has 9mm dynamic drivers, with a 16Ohm impedance rating, 20-20,000Hz frequency range, 98dB sensitivity, and a 1.3m cable. The large hard carry-case that comes with the package is extremely useful for storing the headphones safely.


We used our reference Fiio X1 high-resolution audio player, an Android smartphone, and a Windows laptop as source devices when reviewing the Brainwavz Jive. Reference tracks for the test were Delta Heavy’s Ghost (Zomboy Remix), Shpongle’s Brain In A Fishtank, and The Avalanches’ Close To You.

We started with the remix of Ghost, an aggressive dubstep track with a solid low-end and more attack than an invading army. Something that was immediately clear is that the Jive is not built for bassheads, and lacks any real attack or punch, as was evident when we didn’t immediately feel the excitement in the bass drop. In fact, there’s a slight reduction in the low-end response which keeps the headset from sounding particularly intense with bass-heavy tracks. We found the excitement missing in the earphones.


Moving on to Brain In A Fishtank, we found that the Jive offers an unbelievably clean and sharp sound. Sonic separation is particularly good, as well as soundstaging and three-dimensionality of the sound. Every individual element of the track resonated clearly, with crisp responses in the mid-range. The mids tend to sound flat and equal all through the lower and upper mid-range, which helps in achieving this level of clarity.

Finally, with Close To You, we found that the Brainwavz Jive is a bit heavy at the top of the range. There is an audible boost to the top-end and this translates into a bit more sparkle in the treble than we’re used to. This isn’t too bothersome, but can occasionally sting if the volume is too loud. On the whole, the Brainwavz Jive maintains a level of clarity and mid-range capability that is impressive for the price.


At Rs. 1,899, the Brainwavz Jive is a great purchase. It’s built well, comfortable, comes with lots of useful add-ons and accessories, and offers a decent sonic signature. With a focus on clarity and crispness, the Jive is good for all kinds of music. However, the lack of bass and the slight shrillness at the top-end means that it might fall short of the expectations of a lot of bass-oriented listeners.

While lacking in sheer excitement and attack, it more than makes up in the clarity department, and can be incredibly immersive with the right kind of music. If you’re looking for a sharp pair of earphones under Rs. 2,000, this should be on your audition-list.

Price (MRP): 1,899


  • Decent build
  • Good fit, comfort and isolation
  • Clean, crisp sound
  • Excellent in-line remote and microphone


  • Lacking in bass
  • A bit shrill at the top-end

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4
  • Performance: 4
  • Value for money: 4
  • Overall: 4

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Original Article

Lenovo Launches Global Wireless Roaming Service


Lenovo Launches Global Wireless Roaming Service

China's Lenovo Group Ltd will launch a global wireless service for its mobile devices to cut roaming costs for its users, it said on Sunday.

The service, called Lenovo Connect, allows users to travel to 50 countries and use their devices at local prices on mobile Internet, without installing new SIM cards, Lenovo said in a statement on Sunday.

For years, roaming or extra charges for the use of telecoms services outside a person's home country have been a source of consumers' ire as many were confronted with high phone bills after returning from holiday.

The European Union has agreed to abolish mobile roaming charges across the 28-country bloc by June 2017, requiring telecom operators to treat all Internet traffic equally.

Lenovo said it could offer the service through its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) activities, which currently has 11 million users globally.

MVNOs are operators who rent access on bigger rivals' networks and tend to sell cheaper mobile plans, often without a long-term contract.

The Lenovo service will be available in China on its LeMeng X3 smartphone and MIIX 700 tablet from this month. Some users of Lenovo's ThinkPad laptops in Europe, Middle-East and Africa can start using the service sometime during the first quarter.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Original NDTV Gadgets

How to Record PC Games With GeForce Experience


How to Record PC Games With GeForce Experience

Felix Kjellberg (better known as Pewdiepie) has made a career out of playing video games, whilst recording said video game and himself. His YouTube channel earned him $12 million (approx. Rs. 82 crores) in 2015, and since then he has expanded his partnership with Disney-owned Maker Studios into newer avenues to produce original content for YouTube’s paid subscription service – YouTube Red – and collaborate with fellow web stars for a whole variety of things in Revelmode.

While we can’t help you develop the personality that is behind the continued success and loyal support of Pewdiepie’s Bro Army, we can show you the right set of tools you need to record your game videos – as a hobbyist or as a professional.

There are dozens of free screen recording tools you can pick up that will do the job; if you’re on Windows 10, then the pre-installed Xbox app has some simple recording features as well. The problem there is that the control and flexibility is limited. Other apps like Fraps are an option, but they consume a huge amount of space to record video.

But one of the best ways to do this that we have used, is the GeForce Experience, a companion app for the video cards that makes it extremely simple to record gameplay footage. If you have a PC with an Nvidia card – and most gamers do – there is no need to install anything. Thanks to its software suite, called the Nvidia GeForce Experience, you won’t have to look far at all. Hence, for the purposes of this tutorial, we shall focus on what Nvidia has to offer.


What do you need?
Whether you’re planning to record and share to YouTube or stream live to Twitch, the Nvidia GeForce Experience is quickly becoming your simplest bet. The game recording feature of GeForce Experience is called ShadowPlay. There are a few boxes your PC must tick before you can record your videos. First and foremost, any ordinary Nvidia card won’t do. Current requirements state the following:

  • Desktop GPU must be
    • GeForce GTX 600 series or higher
  • Notebook GPU must be
    • GeForce GTX 660M
    • GeForce GTX 670MX / 675MX
    • GeForce GTX 680M
    • GeForce GTX 700M series or higher

You will also need a minimum of 4GB RAM, and Microsoft Windows 7, 8, or 10. There’s an easy way to tell if your system is compatible: open GeForce Experience and look at the top right. If you see a ‘ShadowPlay’ button, you’re all set.

Recording video games: The options at your disposal
Open the ShadowPlay floating box by clicking in the top right corner. The power switch on the left controls whether ShadowPlay is on or off. There are four buttons to the right of the power switch, which control how you record your gameplay footage and its different properties. And a two-line summary above the buttons states all the options chosen by you. By default, it goes: In-game resolution, 60 FPS, 50 Mbps, H.264.

The first of those four buttons controls the record mode, and there are four options: Shadow & Manual, Shadow, Manual, and Twitch. If you’re planning to edit and splice together footage after you’ve played the game, you need to concern yourself with only the first three. The fourth one is self-explanatory, in that it connects to your Twitch account and lets you stream your content live. Nvidia has said it will build in support for YouTube Gaming, Google’s answer to Twitch, soon.

Picking your record mode
So what do Shadow and Manual mean? Manual is the simpler one. All control is on you – the user and the player – and you decide when to start the recording and when to stop. This is controlled by keyboard shortcuts found under preferences, which you can change to anything that suits you. By default, Alt + F9 initiates and ends a recording.

Shadow on the other hand, helps gamers capture those “Oh God!” moments that would make great viewing, but weren’t manually recorded because you weren’t expecting them at all.


How does it work? If you select either Shadow & Manual, or Shadow, the GeForce Experience service will continuously record your game in the background. And after you – for instance – score a beautiful goal in EA Sports’ FIFA, or a massive kill streak in DOTA 2, and realise you need to save that moment for all time, then you just need to hit the save Shadow data button (Alt + F10 by default). All the action that happened will be saved in all its glory.

The Shadow Time button allows you to set how much is recorded and kept in a temporary folder as you continue to play. You can choose from anywhere between a minute to 20 minutes. The moment you hit Alt + F10, it will save those specified minutes. The only thing to keep in mind with this setting is that the file size can get humongous, especially at higher bit rates. At 1080p game resolution, 60 FPS and 50 Mbps – a recorded file comes in at 1.9GB for XX minutes of video.

Storage is a serious concern
You can end up using over 50GB of storage after two hours of playing Rocket League, as we managed in a recent playthrough. That’s where the third button – the quality decider – is of use. It offers three presets – low, medium, and high – and a custom option to set your own resolution and file bit rate. If you stick to the given settings (1080p at 60 FPS) a 5 minute record will result in: 563MB at low, 825MB at medium and 1.9GB at high. Obviously with custom, the file size depends on the settings you choose.

Here’s what we recommend
If you’ve a fairly powerful CPU and GPU, and tons of free hard drive space, here’s what we recommend in terms of Nvidia GeForce Experience settings to record in-game video:

  • Go for Shadow and Manual for the best of both worlds: flexibility and control
  • Shadow time at 10 minutes
  • Quality at high, which is 60 FPS at 50 Mbps
  • Record at in-game resolution, preferably 1920×1080 or higher
  • Only in-game audio

Now that you are armed with this new-found knowledge of recording video games, load up your favourite game, because it’s time to become the next Pewdiepie. Or something like that.

For more How Tos, visit our How To section.

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Original NDTV Gadgets