HOW ROYAL ENFIELD METEOR 350 IS A NEW-AGE CRUISER MOTORCYCLE - The Daily Guardian
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HOW ROYAL ENFIELD METEOR 350 IS A NEW-AGE CRUISER MOTORCYCLE

The Chennai-based bike maker has just launched the Meteor 350 in the market, which in a sense is a replacement for the Thunderbird 350 cruiser and promises new levels of refinement.

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A new motorcycle from Royal Enfield is always looked forward to by the fans of the brand, but when the product is all-new with a new engine, platform and never-before-seen features, the anticipation is even more. The Chennai-based bike maker has just launched the Meteor 350 in the market, which in a sense is a replacement for the Thunderbird 350 cruiser and promises new levels of refinement. The name Meteor comes from another iconic Royal Enfield motorcycle which was launched at the end of 1952.

DESIGN & FEATURES

The Meteor 350 gets round Halogen headlamps but gets a nice looking LED DRL surround. The tail lamps have an unusual design when compared to the Thunderbird. The handlebar controls and switchgear are premium quality, with rotary power and lighting switches reminding you of some iconic machines from the past. A highlight is the new instrument cluster which is a combination of analogue meters and an LCD display which provides information like gear indicator, fuel gauge, clock and tripmeter. To enable charging on the go, a USB port is there too, but its position is not ideal. Making its debut on the bike is the new TBT (Turn-By-Turn) navigation pod, known as the Royal Enfield Tripper, a navigation display device for real time directions, built with Google Maps platform. It displays the best route to reach a destination using Google Maps’ two-wheeler navigation and is paired via the Royal Enfield App to the rider’s smartphone.

ENGINE

The brand new 349cc air-oil cooled single-cylinder engine generates 20.2 bhp and 27 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm, which means there is enough low-down grunt that always helps a cruiser. Designed with a balancer shaft, the new platform gives a smooth and well-mannered ride experience, and the characteristic ‘thump’ is still somewhat there, though not very loud. The acceleration is linear and a 5-speed gearbox along with a 7-plate clutch ensures gear changes are quite smooth on the motorcycle. The claim that the quality of refinement—mechanical, fittings and finish—is much better on the Meteor, proves to be true when you get astride the bike.

RIDE & HANDLING

The Meteor 350’s twin downtube spline frame has been designed to inspire confidence in the twisties, and it feels at ease both on the highway and city traffic. The seat height is low and which makes it comfortable for most riders. The handling is quite impressive on the bike and the stability on offer is amongst the best we’ve seen on Royal Enfield bikes. Suspension too does a decent job of taking on all kinds of surfaces. The bike gets 41mm forks with 130mm of travel and twin tube emulsion shock absorbers with 6-step adjustable preload at the rear. The footpegs are forward-mounted and there’s a heel and toe gearshift on the bike. Alloy wheels and tubeless tyres come as standard. While a 100/90-19 tyre is used on the front and a 140/70-17 has been put at the rear. There’s dual channel ABS, with 300mm front and 270mm rear discs.

ACCESSORIES & CUSTOMISATION

The Meteor 350 has been launched by a whole lot of accessories, which can be added when ordering the motorcycle. The range includes functional accessories, such as the passenger backrest, touring screens, luggage options, engine and sump guards, as well as classic styling embellishments, including a variety of brushed stainless steel and black powder-coated slip-on silencer options and touring seats, all of which come with a 3-year warranty. Then there’s company’s Make It Yours—MiY—motorcycle personalisation tool where new Meteor owners can tap into thousands of possible personalisation combinations when they order their motorcycle via the Royal Enfield App, on the website or at a dealership. In addition to the 7 standard colour options, under 3 editions, MiY allows an additional 8 colour options for customers.

PRICES

The Bike is available in 3 variants, Fireball, Stellar and Supernova. The Fireball is available in vibrant red or yellow single colour fuel tanks and matching wheel rim lining. It features blacked-out cycle parts and engine, which is finished with machined fins. The Stellar gets red, blue or matt black tanks and matching body components, comes with chrome handlebars and exhaust plus a backrest for the pillion. The top-of-the-line Supernova is finished in dual-tone blue or brown with matching body parts, and comes with a choice of premium seats and a windscreen. It is available at a starting price of Rs 1.75 lakh for the Fireball, Rs 1.81 lakh for the Stellar, and at Rs 1.90 lakh for the Supernova editions (all ex-showroom Chennai prices).

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SAMSUNG MAY TIE UP WITH OLYMPUS FOR CAMERAS FOR ITS NEW PHONES

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Washington: Samsung may collaborate with Japanese optical products company Olympus to create camera modules for the next generation of Galaxy smartphones, as per a report. As indicated by Mashable, there is no confirmation from one or the other company on the turn of events, but it is being claimed that the cameras delivered by Olympus may debut in either a special edition Galaxy Fold or the flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Japanese company allegedly moved toward the South Korean tech giant to offer branding as well as expertise in key areas of photography and videography. The discussions are supposed to be at the initial stage. Tipster Yogesh tweeted that Samsung could be the next brand to hop on the cart of partnering with a reputed camera brand for its smartphones. Mashable cited a later report by ‘Tom’s Guide France’ that asserted that insiders ‘FrontTron’ and ‘Ice Universe’ confirming that Samsung and Olympus could work together for future smartphone camera tech. This partnership could allow Samsung to improve its smartphones’ camera quality. Due to the lack of official confirmation, this information can’t be confirmed.

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XIAOMI TO LAUNCH THREE TABLETS; ONE OF THEM TO HAVE SNAPDRAGON 860 CHIP

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New Delhi: Covid-19 has given a new lease of life to small screen for online classes, content streaming and office-related work. No wonder, a number of manufacturers are lining up to make their mark in this segment. The latest to join the list is Xiaomi, which is planning to launch as many as three tablets this year. All these tablets will be powered by Qualcomm 8-series processors and at least one of them can have Snapdragon 860 chip which was recently used on the Poco X3 Pro. The three tablets are believed to be codenamed with model numbers K81, K81A, and K82 respectively. These three tablets are expected to have IPS displays with a 2560 x 800 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. These displays will have a brightness level of 410 nits. While one of these tablets are expected to have 48-megapixel main camera, the other two may feature 12-megapixel primary lens. All three will have four rear cameras that include an ultrawide camera, a macro camera, and a depth camera.

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ACER NITRO 5 WITH 11TH GEN INTEL TIGER LAKE CPU LAUNCHED AT RS 69,999

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New Delhi: Acer has launched one more gaming laptop in India and this one comes is aimed to lure casual gamers. Named Acer Nitro 5, the laptop starts retailing at Rs 69,999 and carries highlights like the latest 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card. Nitro 5 comes with some promising specifications for gamers, including a 144Hz refresh rate for blur-free gaming, a 3ms response time and an internal heat dissipation technology named CoolBoost to keep the laptop from overheating. Price at Rs 69,999, the Acer Nitro 5 variant is powered by the new 11th-gen Intel Core i5. Coupled to this is an 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD configuration. Nitro 5 comes with a 15.6-inch IPS display that features a full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution. In addition, it boasts of a 144Hz refresh rate along with a 3ms response time and 300 nits peak brightness.

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OPPO A35 WITH 13-MEGAPIXEL TRIPLE CAMERAS LAUNCHED

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New Delhi: Oppo has launched a new smartphone in its low-cost A-series. The phone is called A35, and has been launched in China. This, however, is not a new phone. It is only a rebranded avatar of the A15s that arrived in India back in December. The Oppo A35 seems like an entry-level smartphone that is not much big on specifications, but it is suitable for people who do not want much from their phone. The colour options of the Oppo A35 are Ice Jade White, Glass Black, and Mist Sea Blue. Oppo has not announced the price of the A35 smartphone yet. However, the A15s, which is the same phone as the A35, costs Rs 11,490 on Amazon. Oppo A35 is a low-end smartphone. There is a 6.52-inch HD+ IPS LCD on the phone with a 60Hz refresh rate, a 20:9 aspect ratio, a 296 PPI pixel density, and 480 nits of brightness. The smartphone uses a MediaTek Helio P35 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. You can add a microSD card of up to 256GB on the phone if you need more storage.

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THE ASUS ZENBOOK DUO IS A PERFECT FIT FOR MULTITASKERS

Richa Kapoor

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Staying and working at home for a whole year has led to a lot of new technology aimed at creating a better work-life balance. Asus’s latest entry is a similar gadget, made for creative people and multitaskers. The ZenBook Duo, as the name suggests, is a dual screen laptop and is the most functional thing I have seen recently. After spending some time with it and using it as my primary work laptop, here is what I think.

The first impression it made on me was by how light it is. At 1.6 kg, the device is pretty impressive. The design and form are sleek and compact, and it is easy to hold and pack. The box came with a leather bag too, and the laptop slips into it very well. However, the top of the laptop is prone to fingerprints which might irk a few.

On opening it, it reveals itself as a beauty. The dual screen is designed and placed so well that I was awestruck for a second. It comes with a thin, attractive bezel. There is a plastic keyboard with a large touchpad towards the right. It does take a lot of space but even though the keyboard is a bit cramped, it is not uncomfortable to use. There are also USB type A and memory card slots on the side.

Working from home means you need to multitask and this laptop is perfect for that. The highlight in this regard is, of course, the dual screen. Both screens are touch-enabled which makes work even easier. The 14-inch anti-glare screen is bright with great output and sharp visual quality. The touch feature is seamless, making drag and drop and other multi usages very smooth. The smaller screen is just as interactive. You can drag and drop between the two screens easily. If you are recording something, you can use the bottom screen for notes and other functions. The second screen is tilted upwards which makes things more convenient. You can also customize your screens and apps as per your liking. There is also a shortcut key on the keyboard for adjusting the screen settings.

For Zoom meetings and recordings, you get a decent in-built webcam which gives an above average output. You don’t get a privacy shield though. The mic is decent too, so you get clear audio output. Overall, the device gets a thumbs-up for online recording purposes.

The inbuilt speakers are good and strategically placed for better audio quality.

It also comes with a stylus, which can be of great use to some professionals.

As mentioned earlier, the laptop is great for multitasking and the response rate makes it even better. The laptop works effortlessly while using multiple apps together. There is no lag or wait time.

Graphics might not be the best in its class but surely good enough for many. It is still a great device for gamers, designers, video editors and music composers.

Good battery life is a must for such a multipurpose device. I found that the laptop had 8-9 hours of battery life with excessive usage, which works well for me but might be a low point for gamers.

The ASUS ZenBook Duo, priced at Rs 99,990 and Rs 1,34,990, is a great pick for all multitaskers. If you want a good laptop with a great dual screen, this device must be among the ones you consider.

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HYUNDAI PROMISES A ROYAL RIDE WITH THE ALCAZAR SUV

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Korean carmaker Hyundai has been at its aggressive best in the market in the last one year despite the pandemic. Starting with the new generation Creta to the new generation of the premium hatch i20, new cars from the brand have been hitting the Indian roads thick and fast. Now India’s second largest carmaker is getting ready to launch a brand new 3-row SUV in the market. The Alcazar will soon be revealed to the world after which the launch will take place but before all of that happens, the company has shared some crucial details about the SUV which in a sense is a 6/7-seater version of the hugely successful Creta. Hyundai says the Alcazar harmonises space, premiumness, performance, convenience, safety, and technology.

LOOKS

The face of the car is pretty much like the Creta with similar looking LED headlamps and bumper. However, the big change is the grille that will help you differentiate the SUV from its sibling when viewed from the front. Importantly the car’s wheelbase is 150 mm more than the Creta which means you can expect generous space in the cabin, even on the third row. Hyundai has still not shared the dimensions of the car but even the rear overhang looks bigger than the Creta. The rear is completely new be it the D-pillar, the new LED tail lamps, and the redesigned bumper. Hyundai says the design is based on the company’s global design identity of sensuous sportiness, giving the car a unique look.

INTERIOR

According to Hyundai, with the Alcazar, the idea was to create a 6- and 7-seater premium SUV that resonates the grandeur and magnificence of palaces & castles. Going with that theme the interiors feature a wing-surrounded architecture that personifies spaciousness, comfort, and modern in-car experiences. According to the brand, the car gets 1st in Segment second row console armrest to provide premium feel and enhanced comfort. The wheelbase is claimed to be the best in segment and sliding seats offer versatile leg room with seats designed for superior thigh and lateral support. You can expect a long list of premium features seen on the Creta and then some more on the Alcazar. These include a panoramic sunroof, a big touch screen system, wireless charger, air purifier and a host of connectivity options. The second row will get the option of either 2 captain seats or a bench seat.

ENGINE

The Hyundai Alcazar will come with both Petrol & Diesel engine options and both will get manual as well as Automatic transmissions. The 2.0 litre Petrol churns out 159 PS while the 1.5 litre Diesel makes a maximum power of 115 PS. According to Hyundai the 6-speed manual on the Petrol offers acceleration of 0 – 100 km/h in under 10 seconds. The 6-Speed Automatic Transmission is a torque converter which means the Alcazar will not get a Dual Clutch Auto or a turbo Petrol engine option. While Hyundai has not shared the exact figures till now it claims that the Diesel will offer best in segment fuel efficiency with both 6MT & 6AT. It says that the Final Gear Ratio (FGR) of 6-Speed Manual Transmission on Diesel has been optimized for superior performance. It also features superior shift quality using triple cone synchro and TGS (Transmission Gear Shift) lever stopper.

RIDE & HANDLING

I still have to drive the car but if Hyundai is to be believed the Alcazar will offer a premium ride-feel for all row occupants, featuring hydraulic rebound stopper in front strut for better rebound control and a plush ride experience. Its drive mode selection features different steering effort mapping for Eco, City and Sport modes. It says a full course of durability testing has been conducted across hilly terrains, rural and highway roads in hot & dry conditions. Hyundai says a ring structure design in the engine room, B-Pillar and D-Pillar increase rigidity for enhanced handling and stability.

SAFETY

The Alcazar’s body uses 75.6 % Advanced and High-Strength Steel, which makes it a sturdy car. Its underbody has been designed to absorb and disperse impact energy. Application of hot stamping parts for frontal crash energy flow and strengthened connectivity for side impact strength has also helped in that aspect. There is quite a bit of competition waiting for the Alcazar in the market that includes the MG Hector Plus, the recently launched Tata Safari and the soon to be launched Mahindra XUV 700 which essentially is the new generation of the XUV 500. It is going to be an interesting battle up ahead.

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