The week in gadgets: new Samsung smartphones, Panasonic camcorders and an iPad mini keyboard

11 Feb 2013

Samsung's new Galaxy Young (left) and Galaxy Fame (right) smartphones

A look at gadget happenings, as Samsung adds two new youth-oriented smartphones to its Galaxy range, Panasonic brings us three new active camcorders and Logitech has a perfect-fit accessory for the iPad mini.

Samsung hopes to attract the young with Fame

Samsung’s new additions to the Galaxy family are aimed at a younger generation, featuring the design language of the flagship Galaxy S III but in a compact size akin to the recently launched S III Mini.

Both running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on a 1GHz processor, the Galaxy Young and Galaxy Fame smartphones look similar but differ slightly on specs. The Fame comes with a 5MP rear camera and front-facing VGA, while the Young goes without a front-facing camera and its rear camera picks up 3MP. The Fame also comes with an NFC chip.

Both devices come with 4GB of built-in storage, but the Fame comes with 512MB RAM while the Young packs 768MB. As entry-level smartphones, the displays are low-resolution HVGA sporting 320 x 480 pixels in the Fame’s 3.5-inch screen and the Young’s 3.27-inch screen.

The Fame will be available in white or blue, while the Young will also have red and silver colour options. We’re expecting more details on the new handsets’ availability and pricing at Mobile Word Congress later this month.

Panasonic’s new active camcorders

Panasonic has added three new full-HD active camcorders to its range, all of which feature an upright design for stable single-handed use. The flagship of the series is the HX-WA30, which is waterproof to up to 10m, freezeproof to -10°C, shockproof up to 1.5m and dustproof. For easy sharing of your action videos, it comes with built-in Wi-Fi and DLNA technology.

Panasonic HX-WA30 camcorder

The WA30 is also built for slow-motion HD recording and can shoot 1,280 x 720 at 120fps, 640 x 360 at 240fps or 320 x 180 at 480 fps. The 28mm wide-angle lens comes equipped with 5x optical zoom and 18x Intelligent Zoom and the camcorder can also capture 16MP still images.

Panasonic HX-WA3 and HX-DC3 camcorders

Panasonic HX-WA3 (left) and HX-DC3 camcorders

For a cheaper price, there’s the HX-WA3: waterproof to 5m, freezeproof to -10°C and dustproof. This model also features 18x Intelligent Zoom and can shoot 16MP still images or 2MP stills while shooting video. Or, for a lower price again, the slight and compact HX-DC3 weighs just a little more than a smartphone and features active image stabilisation, 15x Intelligent Zoom, 16MP image capture, and a range of creative filters, including miniature effect, one-colour, fish-eye, HDR and old movie.

All three camcorders will be available next month with an RRP of €359.99 for the WA30, €319.99 for the WA3, and €219.99 for the DC3.

Logitech’s award-winning iPad mini keyboard cover

The Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Mini’s 7-inch design fits the small Apple tablet perfectly and provides users with a full-size Bluetooth EasyType keyboard. Attaching securely to the iPad mini with integrated magnets, the slim aluminium cover not only matches the tablet’s design but also adds a protective layer with minimal added-on weight.

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Mini

The keyboard comes with function shortcut keys for commands used most often, such as copy and paste, and the accessory can also double up as a stand. With an instant on/off feature, the iPad mini will wake when you open the cover and switch to standby when you close it. Using the keyboard two hours per day will see the battery lasting for a full three months.

The Ultrathin Keyboard Mini is also available in March at a suggested retail price of €79.99 from Harvey Norman stores and

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.