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Best of the week: all the news and reviews 18.05.13

This week on we've been following Google's I/O conference, which spilled some details of the tech giant's plans this year.

Sharp's woes continued with the announcement of a larger than expected loss in their last financial year as another Japanese company, Sony, announced prices of smaller, more affordable, 4K TVs.

New reviews arrived in the form of Spendor's D7 floorstanding speakers, another (spectacular) effort from Panasonic in the plasma TV market and an AV receiver from Onkyo. Read on for all the details.


Google launches Google All Access Music service

This week saw the Google I/O conference take place in San Francisco. Among the most interesting of the announcements was the the company's movement into the streaming market with it's All Access Music service and news of a Google edition Samsung Galaxy S4.

Sharp posts record ¥545 loss

Following on from the news that embattled Japanese company Sharp was looking to raise funds, the extent of their financial problems was laid bare this week. The company announced a net loss of ¥545.35 billion (£3.5bn) for the year ending March 2013, coming off a ¥376.08 loss in 2011-12.

Sony announces prices for their 4K HD TVs

As 4K gathers pace in consumer minds, Sony announced that its 55in and 65in Bravia X9 LCD/LED TVs will go on sale for £4000 and £6000 respectively. We've already given our thoughts on their more expensive 84in cousin. You can find them in Sony Centres, John Lewis and Currys from mid-June onwards.

More news:

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini rumoured for June release

New consumer laws will cover online purchases of apps/music/films

Bang and Olufsen unveil BeoLab surround speaker system

Google to sell Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock "Nexus" OS


Spendor D7

We begin with our first review of the week, Spendor's new D7 speakers. Coming off the back of several class-leading efforts (A9, A6 and the SP2), could the D7 be as good? Follow the link above...

Panasonic TX-P42GT60B

With Panasonic on the verge of departing the plasma screen market, for now it seems as if they're fully committed to developing screens for at least another year. And with the new TX-P42GT60B they've knocked it out of the park with another terrific plasma effort. Again.

Onkyo TX-NR626

Despite some strong five-star reviews for Onkyo products in the last year, they left empty-handed at last year's Awards. In an ultra-competitive market, it's tougher than ever to reach the top. Onkyo had a chance this week to stake its claim with the first effort we've seen of their 2013 AV receiver range, the TX-NR626.

More reviews:

Finlux 47S9100-T

Alacrity Audio Caterthun Classic


Forget MP3, and let's move on

Storage is getting cheaper, and broadband speeds faster - do we really need MP3 any more? Andrew Everard argues not, and shows you how to enjoy better than CD quality digital music.

Hands on: M2Tech HiFace DAC review

A bright orange USB stick that sells for 200 euros and is capable of playing the highest hi res music that you can buy. We take a first look at the M2Tech HiFace...

Munich High End Show round-up

If you like high-end hi-fi then there's only one place to see the best of the best all in one place, and that's the Munich High End Show. We made the trip so you don't have to, and here's our round-up of the weird, wonderful... and expensive.

Written by Kobina Monney

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung, reported from CES, the Bristol Show and Munich High End for many years, and provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys playing records and cycling (not at the same time).