Best of the week: all the news and reviews 01.11.13
This week on whathifi.com we reported on Panasonic's announcement that they will be leaving the plasma TV market.
News drifted in as Google responded to Apple's recent launches by getting the Nexus 5 ready, and Bang and Olufsen unveiled three new speakers.
The fires were kept burning in our reviews department, with efforts from Cambridge Audio, Guru and Wharfedale all assessed.
It's been coming and it's finally here. This week Panasonic announced that they will bidding adieu to the plasma TV market, with production expected to be shuttered by the end of December 2013.
Business operations at the three Panasonic PDP factories in Japan will stop by March 2014, with the latest range of plasma TVs – which we gave several awards to – set to be the company's last.
Citing a lack of demand and sales of LCD/LED panels as the reasons for the end of plasma, Panasonic has however confirmed that it will be offering after sales support for recent buyers of plasma screens.
Still, at least LG won't be leaving the plasma market...
OPINION: Shed a tear for the end of plasma TV
Now, the company has lifted the lid off its Nexus 5 phone, revealing (with little fanfare) the specs as well as official pictures of the device.
Featuring a 4.95in, 1920x1080 Full HD display, the Nexus 5 offers 445ppi, beating the Retina display found on the Apple iPhone 5S.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor is onboard, clocked at 2.26GHz with 2GB RAM. And, as expected, the Nexus will come with the Android 4.4 OS, nicknamed Kit-Kat.
The Google Nexus 5 will retail for £299 sim-free, or £339 for the 32GB model.
Surprisingly for a speaker brand, Bang & Olufsen has not released any wireless speakers. Until now.
Launched under its new 'Immaculate Wireless Sound' concept, the range consists of the BeoLab 17 compact speaker, the BeoLab 18 column speaker and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer.
All three speakers use the new WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio) standard for delivering high-quality wireless sound and can be used with the B&O BeoVision 11 TV (so long as you update the TV's firmware).
The speakers will be available to buy from November onwards.
So small it could easily fit in your pocket, the Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS performs close to the levels of the HRT MicroStreamer for (near-enough) half the price.
For its stature, it's an immense piece of kit and a superb buy for those on a budget. Just try not to lose it.
Read the Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS review
In light of its illustrous, more recognisable peers, the Guru Junior speakers were a huge surprise. Considering it was up against efforts from KEF, Monitor Audio and Tannoy, they impressed us with some excellent bass levels and timing.
There are some black marks (well, smudges) against it, but in light of what it gets right, they're easily dismissed. These are excellent speakers.
Read the full Guru Junior review
We are enthusiastic fans of the Diamond 121 speakers. So when Wharfedale decided to include them in a new speaker package, we were interested.
But perhaps we were expecting a little too much. While an excellent package overall, there's one aspect of the system that lets the team down. A case of "so close, yet so far" for the 100-HCP.
Read the full Wharfedale 100-HCP review