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Samsung's i8, NV4, NV30, NV40, NV24HD, and L100, L110, L210

Samsung has launched the convergence-tastic i8 at CES, along with the stylish NV4, NV30, NV40, hi-def NV24HD, and budget L100, L110 and L210

Convergence -- huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'! No wait, that's war. Convergence is a nice idea -- cuts down on chargers for a start -- but is rarely implemented well. This was the case with the fun but flawed Samsung i7, so how does its successor, the i8 (pictured) shape up?

Like the i7, it's a personal multimedia player with integrated MP3 player and an in-built 'World Tour Guide'. We wanted to use this function to look up which strip clubs would still be open after we'd filed our mountain of CES Crave, but sadly we could only get our hands on a pre-production model. Of the camera, cheeky!

The i8 trumps the i7 with its 8.1-megapixel resolution, but the 69mm (2.7-inch) touchscreen LCD is slightly smaller. The i8 also lacks the i7's most controversial but fun feature: the twisty screen. Still, the curvy-shouldered and pastel-hued i8 is far less bricky than some of the new offerings here at CES that have half the features.

One thing Samsung does not do is make bricks. The NV Series has seen Samsung consistently gift us with some of the slinkiest compact cameras in the market. The CES debutantes are every bit as gorgeous as their sleek stablemates. The 10-megapixel NV40 and 8-megapixel NV30 boast intelligent 64mm (2.5-inch) screens that automatically detect whether you are inside or outside and adjust LCD brightness for optimal image viewing.

Hi-def -- there it is again -- comes to the NV Series with the 10-megapixel NV24HD, which records 720p video. The NV24HD also comes with a remote control for controlling pictures on Samsung televisions.

The i8 and 8-megapixel NV4 will converge with your wallet for £149. The NV30 will cost £179 and the NV40 will be £199, and all four will be available in February 2008. The NV24HD is priced at £249 and is available from March. The budget 8-megapixel L100 and L110 and 10-megapixel L210 compacts -- priced at £99, £129 and £149, respectively -- will take their bows at the same time. -Richard Trenholm