A film I remember fondly is High Fidelity, in which the main protagonist has four obsessions – pop music, getting his ex-girlfriend back, making Top Five of All Time lists, and making Top Five lists of pop music that will help him get his ex-girlfriend back. In typically manly fashion then this is another list, but with only one obsession – products that have a bit of Imagination Technologies inside. We can’t list all of them but if you still haven’t sorted out your seasonal presents here is a gift guide to get you started.
Meizu Pro 7 Plus
First up, we have the Meizu Pro 7 Plus smartphone. Meizu is a Chinese manufacturer and this phone is aimed mainly at the Chinese market, but it does ship in Europe too – the Meizu European site lists resellers in France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, and Belgium. Spec-wise, it’s impressive – there’s a large 5.7in Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 equating to a pixel density of 518ppi – so it’s really sharp. The standout features is a display on the rear of the phone, so you can stay updated at a glance and do things like take selfies with the better quality rear camera.
It runs Android 7 Nougat out of the box, and everything is kept snappy thanks to the star of the show – a powerful MediaTek X30 SoC, featuring a PowerVR Series7XT Plus GPU – a GT7400 Plus running at 800MHz to be precise. This will cope comfortably with any high-end game that you care to throw at it. It’s been out a little while now, so if you hunt around you can find some serious bargains on it. As such, if you want a fast, powerful, well-specced phone at a reasonable price, the Meizu Pro 7 Plus is an excellent choice.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10
When keyboard-less tablets were first introduced to the world in 2010 they seemed like magical devices. They provided a large window onto the internet that we could sit on the sofa with or carry around with us. These days it’s become harder to find significant reason’s to upgrade from the ones we already own so we’re rather blasé about them. That means that when we’re shopping for a new one price is a good differentiator – why spend hundreds on a tablet when you can get a perfectly decent one for far less. Going for an inexpensive tablet used to mean settling for an experience – a rubbish screen and a slow processor but that’s no longer the case and the seventh generation 2017 Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10 is a case in point.
The Fire HD 10 is very affordable, yet has been improved over previous iterations to give you everything you need. You get a 9.7in display in full 1080p and there’s plenty of performance inside to drive it. This is thanks to the MediaTek MT8173 chipset with a PowerVR Series6 GT6250 GPU at its core. It provides an excellent base on which to watch video and play complex games smoothly. It gets five stars out of five in this review and it’s an ideal PowerVR-powered gift for anyone this Christmas.
Apple TV 4K
It’s been 10 years since Steve Jobs described Apple TV as the company’s ‘little hobby’, and it’s fair to say it’s taken a little while for it to take it a bit more seriously. However, with the Apple TV 4K, it has finally done so. Compared to the competition it’s a little late to the party with 4K, but at least with its latest iteration it has brought support for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision support to the table – the new TV standard for image quality that’s rapidly gaining mainstream adoption. And as this review states, ‘it’s what on the inside that counts’.
The Apple TV is built on the Apple A10X SoC, which also features in its iPad and iPad Pro devices. Not only does this ensure that everything looks clean and crisp at 4K but it also helps make the box a great choice for gaming. Here you can find 15 great gaming titles available on tvOS, demonstrating how thanks to PowerVR the latest Apple TV makes for a very accomplished entertainment platform for the home.
Olympus EyeTrek INSIGHT EI-10
After a few years mired in the trough of disillusionment smart glasses are making a comeback. Enterprises can buy Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens is finding a market too. The Olympus EyeTrek INSIGHT EI-10 is also aimed at the enterprise market, which accounts for their relatively high price. They are designed to fit on a regular pair of glasses and present an augmented reality display to the user for uses such as warehouse logistics and industrial field maintenance.
As a small light clip-on device it needs a low-power SoC so Olympus has gone with an OMAP 4470, containing a PowerVR SGX540. While this might be more than five years old – a lifetime in graphics terms, it’s still a good match for this type of application. It also shows the longevity of how PowerVR’s low power efficient design principles based of tile-based deferred rendering (TBDR), on which even the latest Furian designs are based.
Acer Chromebook R 13
We covered Chromebooks earlier this year and noted how they have surprised many in the industry by sticking around and becoming popular. Their combination of a lightweight, cloud-centric OS, with inherent security benefits and affordability, makes them a great choice for students or anyone looking for an inexpensive secondary machine. The extending of the Google Play Store and Android apps to Chrome OS has also greatly extended their appeal.
For manufacturers, that makes using an SoC with strong support for Android an appealing choice to build a Chromebook around. The Acer Chromebook R 13 is just such an example. It has a 13.3in display, with a built-in camera and weighs just 1.1Kg. It’s powered by a MediaTek MT8173C chipset, with a PowerVR GX6250 GPU, supported by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook
If the Acer Chromebook is too pricey you can still get hold of the Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook in many markets. It’s based on the same MediaTek MT8173C, PowerVR GX6250 GPU featuring chipset as the Acer, but comes in a more affordable package. It has an 11.6in display, the CPU runs at 2.1GHz and there’s 32GB SSD and 4GB of RAM – perfectly fine for a portable machine for students. It has a 360° hinge so can convert itself into multiple configurations tablet – hence the Yoga name, and at 1.35Kg (2.98lbs) it’s lighter than the larger-screened Acer.
Discovered new brands and devices using PowerVR is part of the fun at Imagination, so I was intrigued to discover Gionee for the first time. It’s a smartphone manufacturer, which recently announced a flurry of new devices. Aimed at China and emerging markets such as India, we, of course, took a special liking to the Gionee F205 thanks to its MediaTek MT6739 chipset. This features Series8-based GPU – the GE8100. With one pixel per clock, it makes for a very affordable SoC for device manufacturers, which in turn translates into a very affordable entrée into the smartphone world for consumers.
The F205 still manages to pack a 5.45in 18:9 display offers HD resolution and an 8-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera. The SoC is backed by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. With red or gold options as well as white, it will look pretty snazzy too.
Acer Iconia One 10in
If you’re part of the Amazon eco-system the Fire HD 10 described above will be appealing. However, if you’re looking for something based on a more standard version of Android then Acer Iconia One will fit the bill. The generous 10.1in display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 is a highlight and it runs Android 7.0 Nougat. You’ll get a very decent 10 hours of battery life out of it, which is down in no small part to it being based on a MediaTek MT8167a chipset featuring an efficient PowerVR GE8300 GPU.
Capable of supporting the latest OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan this represents some pleasingly up-to-date GPU technology for such an affordable device. We love that you can walk into any Argos store in the UK and pick one of these up.
Pure DAB Evoke C-F6
While small pod-like voice-enabled speakers are all the rage right now there’s something classy and reassuring about Pure’s range of DAB radio. They are well-engineered and with a range of finishes, will look great on the bedside table or in the kitchen and offer great sound quality. And all of them contain Imagination’s Ensigma DAB technology at their core. If we were to pick one model, we’d go for the Evoke C-F6.
With two speakers you can enjoy stereo from many stations, you get Internet radio so you can tune in to stations around the world, Spotify Connect so you can play your tunes from your phone and Bluetooth support so you can play anything else. It’s even got a CD player! Bless…
And as if that wasn’t enough it’s equipped with a colour screen. Colour radio! Amazing; whatever will they think of next?
While Sony’s PS Vita isn’t officially on sale anymore in the West, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a fabulous little gaming console. It offers a good range of fantastic looking games, both mainstream and quirky, that you can’t get on any other platform, the OLED screen still looks amazing and it can even control your PlayStation 4. Considering it was released way back in December 2011 it goes to show how ahead of its time it was, and we consider it one of the most iconic products to make use of PowerVR technology. A lot of that is, of course, down to the GPU – a PowerVR Series5XT SGX543MP. The devices longevity is remarkable and to this day it remains big in Japan but if you want to pick one up in the West, a refurbished one is probably your best bet.