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Sony PS Vita now more affordable

Updated:
Sony PlayStation Vita now sells for under $200. Sony PlayStation Vita now sells for under $200.
Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Lite features a teardrop hinge that swings 180 degrees. Samsung's ATIV Book 9 Lite features a teardrop hinge that swings 180 degrees.

Since its introduction in 2011, the Sony PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) has endeavored to provide portable, interactive gaming experiences in three dimensions via "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" finger motions, and for the most part, it has succeeded.

The eye-appealing device incorporates a five-inch, multi-touch OLED front display with a unique multi-touch rear pad. Two analog joysticks make gaming genres like first-person shooters easier to play. Furthermore, by using Wi-Fi and/or 3G network connectivity, you can engage friends wherever they are.

The big news, however, is Sony has dropped the price! The PS Vita system is now available for $199.99, which applies to both the Wi-Fi model (originally $249.99) and 3G/Wi-Fi model (originally $299.99). The company has also reduced the price of the PS Vita memory cards up to 33 percent.

I've you've just survived a long car trip with kids over the Labor Day weekend, or you're facing one during the coming holidays, having in a device like the PS Vita along for the ride can do wonders to alleviate stress and restlessness.

For more information about the Sony PlayStation Vita platform, visit the PS Vita website.

ATIV Book 9 Lite leverages Samsung's manufacturing muscle

Samsung, taking an egalitarian approach with its prestigious ATIV notebook line, recently introduced the ATIV Book 9 Lite, a new, affordable version of its top-of-the-line ATIV Book 9.

The ATIV Book line is known for offering cutting-edge technology in ultra-thin, highly-crafted form factors. Prices, however, usually reflect that you're buying a premium computing device.

With the Book 9 Lite, Samsung delivers impression specs without the sticker shock. The new notebook weighs only 3.5 pounds and comes equipped with 64-bit Windows 8, a ten-point touch-screen LCD display, a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state HD.

Also included is SideSync technology that allows Galaxy smart phones to interoperate with the notebook via a USB cable. When connected, you can respond to a text sent to the phone, plus view maps, photos, and multimedia stored on the handheld. 

Leveraging its muscle as one of the world's largest manufacturers of PC components allows Samsung to price the Book 9 Lite lower than you might expect. Rather than use an Intel- or AMD-branded CPU, the notebook runs a nameless mystery chip (whose innards suggest AMD roots) and passes on the savings.

The unit's motherboard, physical memory, and SSD are all Samsung products. The case has a cool teardrop hinge, which opens 180 degrees, but the overall construction is plastic, finished to look like metal. The 13.3 inch display provides 1366 x 768 resolution with so-so viewing angles and average brightness/contrast, and the battery is rated for six hours.

In essence, Samsung has done what premium carmakers do to get Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, and Hyundai Sonata buyers into their showrooms. Putting a prestigious badge on an entry-level model will always attract status-seekers.

The ATIV Book 9 Lite is therefore designed to look more expensive than it is. There's nothing wrong with that, but don't expect miracles. Samsung has done its best to deliver the most bang for the buck, but a toe-to-toe challenge for the MacBook Air this is not.

Available in Ash Black or Marble White, the new Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite sells for $799.99. For more information, visit Samsung.com.

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