Samsung Smart TV Launch – April 2012

Ah television, let me count the ways I love thee.

Fans of the goggle box would have got a buzz out of Samsung’s 2012 TV Range launch at The Wharf in Northcote Point this morning.

Samsung rolled out their 2012 Smart TV range at the premium Auckland location where the TV’s (just) held their own with the amazing water view.

These TV’s look stunning, of course, particularly the top of the range ES8000.  I want one. Dammit, I want two.

Glen Chean MC’d us through the range, giving us a great “remote-free” demonstration of Samsung’s new voice and gesture control system.

The pitch is “5 different entry methods before you even need a remote.”

These are:

  • Voice.
  • Gesture. (through the buit in unobtrusive webcam)
  • USB wireless keyboard.
  • Mouse.
  • Galaxy S2 touch interface.

It seems that the hot new thing after 3d (2010) and apps (2011) is remote free navigation a la the Xbox Kinect.  We’ll have to wait and see whether this is what TV purchasers really want or whether it’s a solution in search of a problem.

In other news Samsung announced that all tv’s from the ES range up will have built in Freeview and PVR recording functionality.  Even though you will have to hook up your own USB hard drive this does seem like a great value add for TV buyers.


The top of the range ES8000 with voice and motion gesture control.


Step back in time – TV’s through the ages.


Glen Chean from Samsung demonstrates latest range of Smart TV’s.


While similar to the XBox Kinect gesture controls system, Samsungs solution uses proprietary technology.

What does a gadget guy need for a trip to Asia?

I’m just putting the finishing touches to my travel kit for a quick trip up to Singapore. I will be covering the announcements at the Samsung Summit (for Asia Pacific) which runs between tomorrow and Wednesday.

I’m looking forward to it as it’s only my second trip to Asia, and my first to Singapore, described by an acquaintance as “The Air Conditioned Island”.

So, it’s a short jaunt and there will be plenty of gadget ogling thanks to Samsung. The question is – what to pack?

I’m a fan of travelling light and it is only a few days, but I also hate leaving anything behind that might help me to enjoy the trip more. I’ve decided to pack one bag only for all of my stuff, which is small enough to take on the plane (and therefore help me avoid queuing at baggage collection).

So here’s my check list. Let me know what you would have done differently.

1. iPhone 4. Loaded up with travel apps and crucially, shorn of unnecessary apps. When the time comes to capture Hi-Def video I’ll need to know there’s enough storage space. I was considering the iPhone as an all purpose multi gadget (voice recorder, photo taker, video recorder, e-mailer, internet browser and GPS) – but I’m now worried that the battery is not up to the play, hence the addition of…

2. Ixus 100 IS – my favourite slim, portable camera. Also with HD video recording. I’ve charged up a second battery to take with me rather than a bulky recharger.

3. Gorillapod tripod. I’ve opted to leave the camcorder at home and rely on the two pieces above for video. However, I’m not a fan of the shakes you get with hand held HD recording so I will try and use the Gorillapod whenever possible.

4. The Laptop.  Unfortunately it’s a rather heavy HP Elitebook 8530p. It’s a lovely machine (in fact it is my standard work laptop) but when you add in the power brick it is weighty and bulky.  I had intended to go ultralight on this trip – using the iPhone 4 for work e-mails, with a microsoft bluetooth keyboard for improved typing – but I’ve been swayed by the fact that business class has a power supply and stowage port for Laptops.  So, damn it, I’ll take the lappy in case I need to bap out any PowerPoints while I’m away.

5. All of the above (plus clothing and toiletries) will be fitting snugly into a 40 litre backpack/trolley bag from Kathmandu.

6. Almost forgot, of course I will have a Sony eBook Reader, the PRS 650, with 2 or 3 of the latest novels downloaded from


1. Noise cancelling headphones. I intended to buy a pair at Duty Free but a quick scan of Singapore Airlines website tells me that we get given a pair as we are flying business class. That will save a couple of hundred dollars.

2. Travel Binoculars – I like to have a pair on hand but I reckon there will be plenty to see up close in Singapore – plus we’re expecting heavy showers so I don’t know how much of a vista we will get anyway.

3. An SLR or a HandyCam – sorry, while there weill be a bit of sight seeing I won’t be trying to take any award winning reportage shots.  Too bulky. Bye bye.

Stay tuned over the next few days and I will update the site with my trials, tribulations and stunning gadget finds (hopefully!!)