Best of the week: all the news and reviews 22.11.13
This week on whathifi.com we reported on rumours of Apple readying a larger iPad for 2014. Other news filtered through with Sony showcasing some new features for the PS4, and LG speaking on the topic of high-res audio in the smartphone market.
Reviews were jam-packed with new, high-quality products, with the iPad Air taken apart (not literally) in our in-depth review. NAD's D 1050 amp and Panasonic's TX-L24X6B TV were also given the typically thorough What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision treatment.
And with Christmas approaching, the December issue of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision has landed, with the latest news and reviews ready and waiting for you in the latest issue.
It seems the rumour mill hasn't tired of Apple products.
The scuttlebutt this week revolved around reports that Apple was looking to manufacture a 12.9-inch Retina Display to be used with the new tablet called the 'iPad Pro' next year.
Reports suggest that the extra real estate on the screen may mean that we'll be getting 4K-like resolutions…
Apparently, production has already begun (rumours came from a Chinese manufacturing plant) with Apple looking to launch early next year. While they are only rumours, the recent trend of reports seems to indicate that Apple is willing to loosen its design aesthetics and meet its competitors head-on.
If true then there could be interesting times ahead.
Interesting claims from LG this week as the Korean tech giant said that it's only a "matter of time" before high-res audio comes as standard on smartphones.
Speaking exclusively to whathifi.com as part of the release of the LG G2, Taylor Kim, the head of LG's Electronics Mobile Communication R&D team, said: "The availability and choice of hi-fi audio [high-res audio] clips is increasing, with various websites and music services now offering this file format.
"It is therefore only a matter of 'when' not 'if' customers will come to demand this rich user experience (to match the visual quality they have come to expect) as standard."
That may be true considering the recent moves from companies to push high-res fidelity as a feature in the past few months. But, if this does come to pass then please ditch the dinky little headphones that come with every phone.
They will not do.
With only a week to go until the PS4 hits Europe (are you getting one?), Sony has taken the opportunity to show off the brand spanking new interface for its Music and Video Unlimited services.
At a preview event held earlier this week, Sony claimed that the menus are much simpler and easier to navigate. Both services should be much faster to use than before as well.
Key news for gamers is the ability to stream music over the top of a game. The volume can be altered at any point just by pausing the game, so it shouldn't clash with the game's soundtrack.
Video Unlimited will benefit from DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) technology which stabilises movie streams and removes any buffering issues over broadband.
At the moment the feature is exclusive for PS4 in the UK and Australia, but it will be rolled out to other territories as well as Sony's Xperia, Bravia and PS3 products at a later date
Apple continues its trend of refining its own designs with the release of the iPad Air, the lightest and most powerful iPad yet.
So with umpteen iPads in however many years, were we impressed with what the Air had to offer? Considering it was building on top of the foundation that Apple has built over several years we needn't have worried. The Air is another success for a company that's seemingly unstoppable in the tablet market.
Read the full Apple iPad Air review here
This is a product we featured in a November small TV test. The TX-L24X6B didn't win that, but it certainly impressed us with some great contrast and subtle colours.
It's relatively expensive, but for a TV that performs as well as this one does, it's hard to say it's not offering value for money.
Read the full Panasonic TX-L24X6B review
Earlier this year we reviewed the NAD D 3020 and came away hugely impressed by its performance. We even called it a potential game changer. That's the kind of praise that could cast a shadow on the amps that follow it.
It's safe to say that its smaller brother, the NAD D 1050, does not let the side down. If anything it excels in much the same way as the D 3020 does.
Read the full NAD D 1050 review