A stylish thumbs up for the new Philips Moda 2 Monitor

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OK, so it might not be as big as the 40-inch Philips 4K monitor Latest Gadgets recently produced a round up on, but the new Philips Moda 2 monitor, with its 27-inch IPS display, is still pretty darn big.

The new Philips 275c5QHAW is introduced by MMD, a technology company and brand license partner for Philips Monitors. Proudly marketing the monitor as the “display with sense appeal”, the Moda 2 appeals to viewers’ senses –apparently.

With its glossy white Moda design and minimalist look, this yet-to-be-released 27-inch monitor certainly looks to have a rather eye-catching design. According to Thomas Schade, Vice President EMEA and MMD:

“Looks really matter when people choose a display for their living room. We’re confident that the new display will attract attention for all the right reasons.”

But what do the slightly less biased tech press have to say about the new Philips Moda 2?

Oh My Gadget! is somewhat bowled over by the fact the Moda 2 enables you to show videos from your smartphone without any wires. Being equipped with built-in 7 watt speakers which support the Bluetooth connection users can play video and audio content on the monitor with portable devices, completely wire free.

For surround-sound enthusiasts, the Moda 2 boasts acoustic audio 5.1 on the basis of SRS WOW HD, the net result being surround-sound.

Another note-worthy trait of this monitor is its slight frame, just 2.5mm, which, according to Oh My Gadget! “makes it virtually invisible and increases the viewing area.”

A super-slim frame

Tech Boom is pretty impressed with this sleek and slim monitor. According to its review, this model uses an IPS panel and achieve “the most brilliant images and extended viewing angles of 178 degrees.”

Also picking up on the fact the monitor’s speaker Bluetooth can be used to connect a portable device, Tech Boom is quick to point out you can even answer calls directly from your computer.

Flicker-Free technology

Long gone are the days when we staring into a flickering screen all day would result in eye-fatigue, headaches, or, worse still, migraines, as the Philips Moda 2 is equipped with Flicker-Free technology, designed, as Tech Boom, states, to reduce flicker and regulate the brightness.

According to Crowded Brain, with AH-IPS technology, viewers can enjoy extra-wide viewing angles, from virtually any angle. As the CrowdedBrain review states, with a Full HD widescreen resolutions of 1920 x 1080 pixels, the monitor’s display “supports the highest HD resolution for maximum picture quality.”

All-in-all it seems to be a thumbs up for this definitely stylish looking monitor.

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The new Philips Moda 2 is expected to retail around £279.

The 40-inch 4K Philips UHD display – size matters, but what of the price?

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They say size doesn’t matter. Well try telling that the big screen-loving consumer fraternity, who, no matter how small a room might be, are determined to squeeze a mighty and domineering monitor in the corner. Given our burgeoning love-affair for large monitors, such products are likely to be amongst the best-selling festive items this Christmas. And boy are they getting bigger.

Enter the 40-inch Philips 4K monitor, which offers users a 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution.

We have to admit that at a first glance, with a sleek design, squared-corners and slim frame, the Philips 40-inch 4K UHD display certainly looks the part. But what about, excuse the pun, the bigger picture?

PCR Online are quick to point out MMDs, the technology and brand license partner for Philips monitors, newest arrival to the Philips’ TV range, has a screen that offers up to four times the resolution of a full HD monitor, packing four times as many pixels in the same area. PCR also seem impressed by the wide range of ports the 40-inch 40K comes equipped with – a USB 3.0, DisplayPort 1.2, and an HDMI 1.4.

4K News and Reviews eagerly report on everything entering the marketplace with a 4K display. As you can imagine, 4K jumped on the Philips 4K set. Talking about the new Philips screen, 4K said:

“[It] is almost the size of a smaller Ultra HD TV at 40 diagonal inches and this is excellent news for gamers and design prose who are falling in love with 4K graphics.”

Asides boasting an on-screen PPI density which is “truly close to ideal”, 4K is quick to highlight that users have the benefit of 176 degree viewing angles, eight bit colour depth and a SRGB colour gamut.

Room to spread out

The Channel Post is impressed by the capabilities the device’s extra-large display provides. With plenty of room, the Channel Post states, users can spread out and navigate multiple applications and windows simultaneously.

“The 4K UHD gives an extra edge for professional users such as photographers and videographers, fine detail with unrivalled clarity, and the new display’s true 8-bit and FRC colour depth ensures colour fidelity as well as UltraClear images,” says Channel Post.

The IT analysis site also believes the Philips 4K UHD will be great for finance professionals, as the new display will mean users can run data-intensive applications in multiple windows, whilst retaining space, clarity and attention to detail.

A price war has commenced

In its 4.5 star review of the 4K TV, Tech Radar says that because Philips isn’t normally associated with “aggressive value”, selling its first 4K/UHD TV for a price that undercuts all of its 65-inch 4k UHD TV rivals, is a “startling bold move.”

Tech Radar is impressed with the mostly excellent picture quality of the monitor, its “ground-breaking” price, its effective ambilight configuration and its good audio. The site is however less bowled-over by the Philip’s 4K’s meticulous set-up requirements, its over-ambitious processing, its limited viewing angle and limited online content.

So is the 4K TV from Philips about to start a price war in 4K TVs?

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Retailing at £549, the Philip’s 40-inch 4K monitor is a whopping £500 cheaper than the Sony KDL – 65X9005A and Samsung UE65F9000 – And having an extra 500 quid in your bin has to be worth something!

Philips PicoPix PPX 3610: Pocket Projection

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I have a Pico projector, and it’s one of the easiest ways to dazzle my friends. Not with it’s bulb (it’s a dim 30 lumens), but by it’s mere existence. Even in the age of smartphones, wifi scales and tablets people seem blown away that you can fit a projector into something smaller than a remote control. Sadly my pico projector of choice is four years old and is basically useless unless you are in a totally darkened room. And connectivity options are limited – cables (yuk) and micro-SD. So what does a modern pico projector bring to the table?

I got to spend a couple of minutes playing with the new Philips PicoPix PPX 3610 at Digital Summer – a gadget playground for tech journalists – and was impressed by how the technology had improved in what is a relatively short space of time. The PicoPix had triple the brightness of my old projector (up to 100 lumens) and a screen size of up to 120″.

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PicoPix also has more interface options – including mini-HDMI so you can play with smartphones, tablets and video game consoles. An integrated touch pad provides menu access and allows for easy navigation on the internet. Proof, if proof were needed that this is a modern projector comes with the fact that, like all great modern gadgets, PicoPix comes with an Android and iOS app that enables you to control the device remotely.

PicoPix has a battery life of two hours, 4gb of internal memory as well as a 1 watt sound bar, so it’s technically an autonomous projector, although you’d almost definitely want to beef up the sound a little if you were taking this on the road. The projector has an Officer Viewer so you can work with .pdf, .ppt/.pptx, .xsl/.xlsx, .doc/.docx files – although if you have a projector you could learn to do fun stuff with Isadora.

The Philips PicoPix PPX3610 projector is DLNA compatible so it can manage a WiFi connection to a DLNA Server and project any content stored there. No cables required, perfect for a home network. Loaded with Android (I was unable to determine which flavour), you will be able to go online and project YouTube videos, play games and surf the web without the need to be connected to another device.

The Philips PicoPix PPX3610 will be out in July 2013

Home Automation Future and Present: WiFi Lightbulbs, Speakers and Doorlocks

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Are you ready for robotic lawnmowers, rechargeable cars and intelligent fridges? Well, we’re not quite there yet. But our homes are a lot smarter than they’ve ever been before, and with the rise of home automation systems they’re only going to get smarter.

An automated home is all about saving your time; It’s about the energy savings you will see by regulating the operation of lights, water, heating and security; it’s about peace of mind of being able to lock the door from anywhere in the world; it’s about being able to have your favourite radio station and the lights turned on before you even reach the door. Basically, the benefits of an automated home are only limited by your imagination, and how deep your pockets are.

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As you’d probably expect a fully automated home automation system, where all the functionality of home is completely unified into one system isn’t cheap. But the doesn’t mean us mere mortals can’t get pimp our homes with cheaper off-the-shelf technology.

Here’s a quick run-down of some clever home automated tech that we’ve come across over the last few months, there’s everything from clever lights to intelligent audio systems and even a futuristic door bell.

Doorbot

DoorBot is a doorbell with a difference; it connects to your home Wi-Fi and has an in-built camera. The doorbell also has speakers built in, so you can answer the call and speak to the person at the door, meaning that you can tell a courier to deliver a parcel round the back or a friend to come and join you in the back garden.
The system runs on a simple app that you can log into on a smartphone or tablet, with iPhone, iPad and Android compatibility.

The doorbell itself can be connected to your Wi-Fi network so it can communicate with your smartphone or tablet, and it will last for a year from a set of 4 AA batteries.

One awesome feature is compatibility with Lockitron. For those unfamiliar, Lockitron is a smart door lock that can be fitted to any door in your house, allowing you to remotely unlock it using a smartphone. With the DoorBot app you can tap a Lockitron button – if you have such a system built in to your home – after receiving the video call from somebody at your door, and remotely unlock it for them.

Find out more at Doorbot

Philips Hue: LED Wi-Fi Light Bulbs

Philip’s new LED Wi-Fi light bulbs could be the end of the lightswitch – and could herald the start of having to hunt for your mobile every time you want to switch the lights on.

Their new Wi-Fi LED Hue bulbs plug straight into a normal screw light socket, then there’s a control box that plugs into your broadband connection. The bulbs can then be controlled via a simple iPhone or iPad app, where you can choose the colours, program scenes, and fully automate your lighting all from within the app.

The app for Philips’ hue also features expert LightRecipes the firm claims can improve people’s lives, with four pre-programmed lighting settings based on Philips’ research around the biological effects that lighting has on the body.

These scenarios adjust bulbs to the optimum shade and brightness of white light to help you relax, read, concentrate or energise.

The firm is also developed advanced software for the system using a phone’s GPS sensors to automatically turn on the lights as you approaches your home, and turn them off again when you leave.

Find out more at Meet Hue

Sonos Multi-Room Music System

Sonos is one the world’s leading manufacturers of low-cost multi-room home audio. With either their PLAY:3 or PLAY:5 system you can daisy chain multiple speakers across your home and enjoy all your music streamed wirelessly from your computer, or from a plethora of radio stations and streaming services like Spotify and Deezer.

Once the speakers are in place, you can control them all from a simple PC desktop or Mac application. There’s also the option to use their free controller app on an iOS or Android devices – or, alternatively, Sonos offers their own touchscreen controller.

It really is as simple as that. Sonos also offers a range of accessories to take your Sonos system to the next level, including a new Soundbar for TVs, and a new sub for true audiophiles.

Find out more at Sonos

Hue light up my life – Philips lightbulb technology

I spent almost two hours talking about lightbulbs yesterday and didn’t yawn once. “Impossible” you cry, but oddly enough it’s true. Philips invited me into a tucked away Central London to meet “hue”, the latest and greatest in lightbulb technology.

Philips first started making lightbulbs 121 years ago and haven’t really stopped since then, so they know what they are talking about. When people ask what the most mind blowing gadget I’ve seen whilst working for Latest Gadgets my go to is normally “Samsung’s wifi enabled touchscreen fridge” but hue – an app controlled wifi-enabled lightbulb – is a strong contender for the top spot.

Hue

Hue utilises LED technology so it’s already more environmentally friendly and economical over the long term than conventional lightbulbs. But the real magic comes from how it leverages the power of LED technology and bends it to suit your ever changing whims.

In the box are three special hue bulbs and a bridge that plugs into your router. As the name suggests, hue enables you to change the colour of light in a room and the box playfully demonstrates this with a cute colour wheel on the side. If you flip this around the colour wheel walks you through the simple installation process. Plug in the bridge, screw in the lightbulbs (screw bulbs only although you can get screw to bayonet convertors for 99p delivered on eBay), download the app and you should be good to go.

The app is one both iOS and Android, although the Android version is missing one or two functions at launch. The app is a great example of “better living through smartphones” as it makes your lighting fully customisable from a device that is always in your pocket.

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So what can hue do? Isn’t it just an overly complicated dimmer switch? No not even close. As I said before, Philips have been in the lightbulb game for a long time and have a scary level of passion for the subject. Once you have hue up and running you can access over 16 million colours simply by sliding your finger across. You can also control each bulb individually and the system has been tested with up to 50 bulbs. So you can name the bulbs “Bedroom”, “Study” etc and have different settings in each one. If you have a room with multiple bulbs you can mix and match colours.

One very cool function is the ability to replicate the colour scheme from an image. So if you see a dusk or a dawn that you love the look of you can snap a photo with your smart phone and then drag your bulbs to various points on the image to try and replicate the colour mix. If you like the scene you’ve created you can save it. You can also set a timer so it comes on at a specific time. You can even use a daylight setting to create a light based alarm clock, with your bedroom gradually filling with light.

More practically it comes with a number of pre-loaded scenes that they’ve researched for certain scenarios. Want to read? They have the perfect light setting. Want to focus on a task. You’re covered. Fancy chilling out? That’s in there too. And you can tweak all these settings and create your own templates.

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Hue is based on open standards and is more of a platform than a gadget and Philips are hoping developers use the technology in wild and wonderful ways. The Zigbee wireless mesh network technology working behind the scenes is industry standard and will play nicely with all your existing home automation kit. All the bulbs act as signal extenders so they should work throughout your house.

Philips have partnered with Apple for launch and hue with be available in Apple stores from today. The starter back is £179, with each additional bulb costing £45.

For more information head to www.meethue.com

IFA: The Philips ‘HomeCooker’ from Jamie Oliver

Following a morning spent with Dell, we headed to the Philips booth for their midday press conference. While there was plenty of fanfare relating to the company’s new series 9000 and 6000 series TVs (produced in conjunction with TPV Technology of Taiwan), the thing that caught our eye was none other than Jamie Oliver – wearing one of his trademark checkered shirts.

Jamie came on stage to promote his new range of Jamie Oliver cooking products, including items like a 1000W food processor and hand blender. However, his headline product was the Jamie Oliver HomeCooker. Billed as a new way to cook healthily in a busy home, the HomeCooker both cooks and stirs for you.

It comes in a choice of black or white, with a companion chopping tower to help speed up the preparation process. The chopping tower comes with a selection of five blades, to chop, grate or slice a required for each individual ingredient.

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In the demonstration we saw a variety of meals were prepared, including a quick 10 minute South Indian prawn curry, chilli con carne and vanilla rice pudding.

It can cook and stir a main meal in the base while steaming an upper layer- ideal for cooking rice or vegetables above a main course. The device also includes a timer feature to shut off the heat once the cooking time is up and it can be dissembled easily, with dishwasher friendly components.

We were informed that the product is out now (or will be very shortly) in the UK and the price for the full package (i.e. including the chopping tower) would be around £350.

Update: Check out the video of the HomeCooker that we shot at IFA 2012:

Philips CitiScape headphone range: Uptown, Downtown, Shibuya and St. Germain.

As a committed city dweller one of my most important accessories is a pair of headphones. Where it’s radio, podcasts or music it’s amazingly liberating and powerful to be able to escape the confines of the tube, bus or office and be truly alone, even (or especially) when you’re sharing a small amount of space with seven million people.

Philips are aware of the importance headphones have to modern “urbanites” and have launched a new Citiscape range, which consists of three headband headphones: Uptown, Downtown and Shibuya as well as the inner ear St. Germain.

CitiScape

Philips starting point when conceiving Citiscape range was to recruit more than one hundred of the most creative inhabitants of New York, London, Berlin, Shanghai, Paris and Tokyo – although at no point was I consulted. The goal of the range was complete sound immersion in even the loudest city environments.

The Citiscape range have a MusicSeal system, with a double layer wall inside the ear shell to seal the edge between cushion and housing. I tried out all of the range in a noisy London nightclub packed with tech journalists and could hear every word of the Doug Loves Movies podcast I was listening to at the time. The headband range also features comfortable memory foam ear cushions, which isolate unwanted noise. It’s quite easy to keep them on for extended periods of time without experiencing discomfort or getting sweaty ears.

The range also features inline controls, a built-in microphone and neat volume slider. Playback control is via a single button so you can skip and pause tracks or activate Siri without looking. The volume slides I used were a little lose but very easy to use.

If you’re used to throwing your headphones into a bag and then rushing off you’ll be used to dealing with a mess of cables so the 1.2m flat, anti-tangle, cable should be a relief.

The over-ear Uptown headband model has premium 40mm drivers rigid aluminium architecture, super soft memory foam cushions and air quilted headbands. They are quite large and retro looking – a fellow journalist quipped that I looked like Princess Leia when I tried them on – and are available now in black with brown cushions, or brown combined with light grey cushions and with an RRP of £89.

The on-ear Downtown range is a little less imposing and lightweight spring-steel construction that’s wrapped in heat sealed soft foam. The Downtown range comes in brown, light grey and purple with an RRP of £59.

If the Uptown is “70s Dad-rock” the Shibuya headband headphone is “bubble gum pop”. Constructed from lightweight plastic, a breathable headband and soft, supple auto-fitting cushions, the Shibuya range comes in a variety of colours including brown, blue, pink, purple and white all with an RRP of £45.

If like me you’d rather not advertise to the world that you don’t want to talk to them there are the St.Germain, which have magnetic fluted ear buds and 10mm drivers. Available in brown and purple with an RRP of £45.

Philips new Fidelio range

Philips invited us to look at some of their new high-end speaker systems – the Philips Fidelio range.

AW9000

Top of the range is the Philips Fidelio Wireless Hi-Fi speaker AW9000. Delivering high-powered audio and stereo imaging, the AW9000 has 100W power drivers, angled speakers and eight Hi-Fi drivers. Plus they look gorgeous.

Price: £499.99 available from John Lewis

If you love your existing speakers and don’t feel like upgrading just to get the latest bells and whistles then you are very sensible indeed. You may however be interested in the Philips Fidelio Wireless Hi-Fi Receiver AW2000 or Philips Fidelio Wireless Hi-Fi Link AW1000, which connects your existing speakers to your wireless system. The Hi-Fi grade amplifier delivers 2x50W RMS power output and a Class-D digital amplifier, for enhanced sound quality and gives you the magic of wireless streaming.

Price: Philips Fidelio Wireless Hi-Fi Receiver AW2000 £249.99 Philips Fidelio Wireless Hi-Fi Link AW1000 £149.99, both available from John Lewis from September 2012

A nice surprise was critically acclaimed solo artist, multi-instrumentalist, and lead guitarist in the band Blur, Graham Coxon, who joined forces with Philips to championing the Fidelio range.

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“You want to hear the detail in the track. Songs recorded in the studio often lose some of the depth when played back through home systems. This is the beauty of live music – the audience can hear each song as it is meant to be heard. I’m pleased to be working with Philips as it’s Fidelio speakers really do capture every note. People can now have a gig in their front room!”

To see a short video of Graham performing and talking about the Fidelio range head here.