TV-Tuners: Brand Recall

Published Date
01 - Oct - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Oct - 2007
TV-Tuners: Brand Recall
For my Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium? Will any branded TV-Tuner work with my notebook?
Dr N N Chowdhury

As far as I know, any brand of external TV-Tuner would work on a Dell notebook, or any notebook for that matter. As for brands, I'd recommend Pinnacle and Leadtek. Since you want an external tuner I'd suggest you look at the Leadtek WinFast PalmTop TV. It should cost about Rs 3,900. Take your laptop with you and ask the vendor to set it up, just to ensure everything works fine.
No Light Load On This UPS!
Q. I have an ASUS P5N32-E SLI motherboard, MSI 8800GTS 640MB, 2 GB DDR2 667 MHz, a ViewSonic 19-inch monitor, a 250 GB HDD, a Corsair 620 W PSU and a Zebronics ZEB-SW13100R 5.1 speaker system. I require a good UPS capable of at least five to 10 minutes of backup for this system.

Phew! That's a lot of power required. You haven't mentioned what processor you're using, but here goes. I'd recommend getting a 1 KVA UPS (1000 VA). Brands to look at are APC, Powersafe, and Numeric. Prices will range from 5,000 to 8,000 rupees depending on the brand. APC will be the costliest (but also the best); Numeric and Powersafe share second position both quality- and price-wise.

Budget No Bar
Q. I am planning to buy a Nokia N91. Is it a good phone, considering my basic need is music with a good camera? Do you have any other suggestions? Also, suggest a good graphics card that will last me at least two years. My combined budget is Rs 76,000.
Akash Yadav

That's a budget? For great music and camera, I heartily suggest the Nokia N95 (5MP camera). It's a slick slider phone and should keep you happy for some time to come. You should get it for under Rs 25,000 now (street price).

As far as the graphics card, with your unlimited budget, I'd suggest the GeForce 8800GTX. Although ASUS is costlier than other brands, I'd recommend it given that price isn't a concern. Your second option would be either Leadtek or XFX. The ASUS 8800GTX card should cost you around Rs 37,000, but it's the most powerful gaming solution out there. There is an Ultra variant-basically an overclocked GeForce 8800GTX-but this card runs a little too hot for Indian climes; not an issue if you have an air conditioner, of course. The 8800 Ultra should cost you around 6,000 bucks more. Finally, assuming you have an SLI-capable motherboard, you could also opt for two 8800 GTX cards from Leadtek-which should be a good 5 to 6 thousand cheaper than ASUS.

You'll still have around 15,000 bucks left-enough for a Nokia N73 Music Edition, which also has a good camera (3.2MP), and even better music quality than the N95!

The Player, The Phones, The Sound
Q. I'm looking to buy an MP3 player and a suitable headphone set. I've short-listed Creative's Zen Vision M and Zen Vision W, and Sony's NW-A3000/V. My criterion is simple: best sound quality, period. Which is better, Sony or Creative? And if I choose Creative, which of their players are better in terms of sound quality? For the headphones, I'm looking at Sennheiser, and my budget can't exceed 5K. I'm looking for around-ear and noise cancellation (at least passive if not active). There's a lot of noise on my everyday commute.
Sudhindra N R

Since music quality is your only criterion, I'd suggest you consider Apple as well. Since you commute, I'll suggest something smaller (the Creatives you mentioned are bulky due to their big screens). Remember music quality doesn't necessarily mean a huge screen.

My first suggestion is an Apple iPod nano: awesome music quality, and small size. If you want more storage than 10 GB, take a look at Apple's iPod Video. Cowon's D2 is another excellent player-and it has a touchscreen! It also has SD/MMC expandability. It should cost you around Rs 14,000. The iPod nano costs about Rs 12,000 for the 8 GB model.

Yet another option is SanDisk's Sansa series-the E250 and E260 both cost around the 10K mark, and will provide complete PMP functionality. Do remember that the nano doesn't support video playback or FM radio.

For headphones, I'd say get Creative's EP630. They're in-ear, very comfortable, with excellent bass and passive noise isolation. They cost Rs 1,100 or thereabouts and are very portable. Circumaural cans (the around-ear type) aren't cheap, so you won't get good ones for 5,000 (or less). Your PMP might have issues driving such headphones. Bose's Intra Ear passive noise reduction headphones are available for Rs 5,000. They're a little more comfy, and sound a little better than the EP630.

Nokia All The Way
Q. For a Symbian S60 phone, I'd short-listed the N70, 6630, and 6680. I want to use my phone for 3D games, apps, Internet, and full-length movies on the move. Which is the best? Is the LED flash on the 6680 practical? Also, do extra cam settings (white balance, colour tone, and such) give it an edge over the 6630-I might want to print out the snaps?

The 6630 is faster, mainly because of the faster processor, and the fact that the screen has a lower colour bit depth (16-bit as opposed to 18-bit). To be honest, these phones are outdated. I'd recommend Nokia's N73-a great screen: high-resolution (240 x 320 as opposed to 176 x 208 on the three you mentioned). This phone should give you much better photos-and I recommend you skip the three phones you've mentioned if you plan to print the photos.

The LED flash on any cell phone is useful only for extremely close-up shots. Some select Sony Ericsson phones have an Xenon flash, which is much more effective than other flashes, but once the subject is more than two metres away, all cell phone flashes are useless.

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