RETURN OF THE LEGEND CALLED TATA SAFARI - The Daily Guardian
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RETURN OF THE LEGEND CALLED TATA SAFARI

The Safari has become more versatile than before, and the only missing checkbox is perhaps all-wheel drive capabilities. It is an attractive-looking car which gets an inviting cabin.

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It’s not for the first time that Tata Motors has come out with a 7-seater SUV. The examples are many, including Sumo, Aria and Hexa. But there’s one name that strikes a much stronger chord with enthusiasts all over the country—the Safari. The car was last seen on sale in the country and now it has made a comeback as a 7-seater version of the Harrier SUV. Earlier this week Tata launched the car in the market, and I had a chance to sample it a few weeks prior to that.

LOOKS

Yes, this is the XL form of the Harrier if we can call it that, but there are many differences between the two cars. The face is similar but there are elements that give this one a distinct identity. The grille with tri-arrow pattern is different and unlike the Harrier which gets black skid plates, this one gets them in silver colour. The car is longer than the Harrier but crucially the wheelbase remains the same. It also gets 18-inch wheels which are a size bigger than the Harrier. It is towards the rear that the car reminds you more of the earlier Safari with the stepped-up roof, roof rails and the side cap. The tailgate is also refreshing and there’s no way you can mistake the Safari with the Harrier while looking at it from behind.

INTERIORS

The Cabin gets a new Oyster white theme while many design elements do remind you of the Harrier. The 8.8-inch touchscreen system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while it also gets voice recognition. The Safari is also a connected car with Tata’s Intelligent Real Time Assist or iRA connected car tech finding a place on the SUV. The top XZ variant of the SUV features a 9-speaker JBL system, leatherette upholstery, 7-inch TFT display instrument cluster, electrically adjustable driver seat and an electronic parking brake which wasn’t seen on the Harrier. The second row is a good place to be in especially with the captain seats and a large panoramic sunroof. You can also push forward the front passenger seat by pulling a lever while sitting here. The access to the third row is not as seamless what surprises you is the amount of space on offer. The overhangs on the exterior have helped. If you fold down the third row then 750 litres of boot space is on offer.

ADVENTURE PERSONA

At the launch of the car, Tata Motors also introduced an ‘Adventure’ persona variant of the car which will come with black tinted charcoal grey machined alloys, a piano black finish in its grille, roof rails inserted along with a Safari mascot placement on the bonnet. On the interiors, it gets earthy brown interiors, dark chrome interior accents on air vents, knobs, switches, inner door handles and instrument cluster along with a piano black interior pack on steering wheel, grab handles, floor console frame and IP mid pad finisher.

ENGINE

The engine is the same as seen on the Harrier. Unlike a few of its recent cars the company is offering the automatic right from the word go. But there’s no Petrol engine on offer here and unlike the previous Safari there’s no 4×4 option available as well. The Automatic certainly gives a better, more refined drive experience as the manual shifts still can get smoother. However, the car does get 3 driving modes which are called Eco, City and Sport and the dynamics of the car change quite a bit with the change in these modes.

RIDE & HANDLING

The Safari, like the Harrier, is built on the Land Rover D8 platform derived Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced Architecture or OMEGARC. That means it has in it to take on the tough terrains. The brilliant ride quality was a highlight on the Harrier and that is exactly the case on the Safari as well. The car feels sturdy and gives the occupants great confidence. Yes, there’s some body roll but the dimensions explain that. And this may not be a 4×4 but the electronic stability program gets rough road and wet modes to give you more traction in tricky situations.

VERDICT

The Safari has become even more versatile than it ever was, and the only missing checkbox is perhaps all-wheel drive capabilities. It is an attractive-looking car which gets an inviting cabin. And yes, the Automatic is certainly going to pull a lot more people to a Tata dealership. The SUV starts at Rs. 14.69 lakh (ex-showroom) and goes up to Rs. 21.45 lakh for the top variant and that range also might just get a lot more buyers interested.

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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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