The iPhone changed the way we think about how mobile media devices should look, feel and perform. The design is exceptional inside and out: It's got a slick glass-and-stainless steel case and an elegant touch screen loaded with eye candy. It's an iPod and a 2-megapixel camera. Images and video clips display vertically or horizontally — they reorient themselves depending on how you hold the thing. When the phone detects a wireless network within range — your own home wi-fi set up or somebody else's — it lets you tap once to connect, and then proceed with your Web surfing, Google mapping, emailing and other activities that can otherwise be painfully slow over AT&T's cellular network — the only one, unfortunately, that carries iPhone calls.
Have you ever maxed out your digital camera's memory card midway through a vacation? The 8-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S51c point-and-shoot is tricked out with built-in wireless capability, so you can email your images or beam them directly from the camera to your Flickr account or to Nikon's own online photo bank. It's also got a 3x zoom and a roomy 3-in. LCD screen — and it comes in black.
This cordless wi-fi phone comes with Skype software already built in, so you can log in to an existing account and start making cheap Internet calls immediately. If you've never used Skype before, do not fear: It takes a few moments to create a new account and you can do it right from the phone's keypad. Phone will also work at most public hotspots (including T-Mobile's) so if you have lots of friends overseas, you may not want to leave home without it.
Do you secretly covet your friend's smart phone while dismissing it as way overpriced? The new Palm Centro provides an opportunity to get all the essential smart-phone features without breaking the bank. This light and bright device supports Web surfing, emailing, instant messaging and text messaging, and sports a 1.3-megapixel camera and a touch screen that works best with a stylus. A mobile version of Google Maps comes preloaded. The qwerty keypad is seriously small, but the bubble-like tactile design of the individual keys makes them easier targets.
The CX7 records rich high-definition footage straight to a flash memory card (Sony's Memory Stick PRO Duo), so it feels light and compact in your palm, and the 2.7-in. LCD screen features touch controls for set up and playback. Should you get the shakes while shooting, the CX7 has the ability to stabilize the image (using optics, which is more effective than a digital correction) and smooth out the action. A built-in HDMI port lets you connect the camera to an HDTV and watch your home movies in all their high-def glory.
The slim and sexy P2 sounds terrific and plays a variety of music file formats: MP3, WMA and songs from subscription services like Rhapsody and Yahoo Music. The pretty 3-in. screen has touch controls for viewing photos and watching videos, which are displayed at a DVD-quality rate of 30 frames per second. The device also works with BlueTooth headsets and speakers, and soon you will be able to receive forwarded calls from a BlueTooth cell phone. (You'll have to download what's called a firmware upgrade from the Samsung website, but don't worry, it's not as difficult as it sounds.) Comes with 4 GB of memory for $200, or 8 GB for $250.
This ultra thin-and-light notebook is a dream machine for road warriors. It runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and offers 2 GB of RAM, an integrated DVD burner and graphics card and built-in wireless capability (both wi-fi and Bluetooth). The 12.1-in. widescreen LED-backlit display is super slim and displays in high-definition (1280 x 820 pixels). With the S5004 model you get a solid-state hard drive, which means no fragile spinning parts, so the machine is less likely to suffer damage if dropped or bumped. Total weight: 2.4 lbs.
WowWee's flying insect soars, dive-bombs, hovers and glides using authentic flapping-wing action, which makes it the first commercially available toy ornithopter. It's lightweight (about 1 oz.) yet sturdy, and sports a 16-in. wingspan. The two-channel radio remote lets you control wing speed and tail rotor speed and doubles as a charging base (a 20-min. recharge gives you about 6 min. of flying time). The kids will love it — if you can bear to let them have it for a while.
Who knew file storage could be so chic? The 160 GB eGo has enough room to hold up to 640,000 digital photos, 2,900 hours of music or 240 hours of video (depending, of course, on the compression rate). A new dual-interface version works over USB or FireWire and comes with both types of cords. If you accidentally knock the eGo off your desk, the shock-absorbing case will protect the important documents and precious media stored inside.
Though the new "N" wi-fi standard, which carries data signals faster and farther than its predecessor "G," isn't expected to be officially ratified until next year, it's far enough along that you can buy certified N products with confidence that they will work with your computers and other hardware. Belkin's audaciously designed N1 Vision router stands vertical and reports on network activity in your house so you can see if your kid is downloading video games when he should be doing his homework. It is designed to configure itself the first time you connect it to your cable modem or DSL, and computers still using older "G" adapters will still be able to connect.
Like a video game, the Smart Cycle from Fisher-Price sends children into a make-believe world full of quirky characters, but it can't be played while sitting on the couch. Plug the tot-sized stationary bike into the TV and children can pedal themselves along, developing problem-solving skills and learning to identify numbers and letters along the way. Recommended for children ages 3 to 6; $99.99.
Like a pebble that has been rounded over the centuries by the gentle splashing of the ocean waves, Halo 3 has become the perfect hardcore first-person combat simulator. By dint of painstaking labor on the part of its developer, Bungie, it has been refined over three installments to the point where it delivers only pure, unadulterated gaming bliss. Every combat is even-sided and complex and can be waged in multiple ways, using an arsenal of long- and short-range weapons, plus grenades and hand-to-hand moves. Every level is perfectly paced and balanced and graced with soaring architectural compositions. Plus it's graphically gorgeous. The epic storyline and the stirring score don't hurt either. In one of the greatest years video gaming has ever seen, Halo 3 is the very best of the bunch.
A New iPhone
Whether it's the iPhone 3G Part II or the rumored iPhone nano, it's not hard to imagine Apple releasing another new iPhone this year, maintaining their trend of releasing an iPhone per year to stay competitive in the everchanging post-RAZR cellphone market. It's no secret that most of Gizmodo loves the iPhone, so we're pretty excited to see what's next. (Juicy rumors of a new Mac mini and iPod Touch XL are going strong, too.)
3G is alright but we're looking forward to even faster 4G wireless networks soon. Intel-backed WiMax launched in a few locales by carriers Sprint and ClearWire. The wide-area network currently promises peaks of 10 megabits per second but on paper it's capable of over 70. We will likely see slow but steady expansion of the service through 2009. Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon (and eventually T-Mobile) are gearing up LTE technology. The Nokia-driven GSM-based "Long Term Evolution" may actually whomp WiMax with download speeds of over 300Mbps—though its presence probably won't be felt in the US before 2010.
The Sony XEL-1 OLED television rocked our world when it was released this year, but there was a catch. Its screen size was a measly 11 inches. And while we can't expect 50-inch Kuro killers just yet, we do anticipate a very expensive mid-sized set—27 to 32 inches—to hit the market in some form this year. (Sony actually showed off a prototype that was 27 inches at CES 2008. Stay tuned for what we see at CES this year.)
A multitude of companies have various wireless HDMI technologies, but there's no set standard (two warring factions need to settle the fight before we can have interoperable products). The technology is there, now it's just a matter of logistics and handshaking. With luck, by next Christmas, you'll be able to add it to a sub-$2000 1080p projector for the ultimate no-mess home theater.
Wireless HDMI may not be quite cooked yet, but the eSATA-crushing USB 3.0 standard is ready to roll. Look for a multitude of products announced within the next week with blazing transfer speeds of 4.8Gbps (moving a 25GB file in under a minute). They'll also benefit from USB 3.0's higher electrical power output.
Since its launch on October 23rd 2001, the Apple iPod has revolutionised the way in which we listen to music on the go. Designed by Jonathan Ive at Apple, the digital media player allows users to enjoy music, videos, photos, and games on a single portable device.
Content is easily transferable to your iPod through the Apple iTunes software which is compatible with most Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
All Apple iPod models apart from the iPod Shuffle feature the popular touch sensitive scroll wheel in the user interface, which has seen the iPod become the most user-friendly media player currently available. It can also claim to being the best selling digital media player in history, with over 165 million iPods sold, worldwide.
To date, there have been several various iPod models - these are the Classic, Photo, Mini, Nano, Shuffle and Touch.
Sony 2TB memory sicks we warned you about way back in January are finally coming to pass, and Sony Insider has dug up the details. As appearing on Sony's oss-formats.org site, the Memory Stick XC keeps the current form factor for memory sticks (most likely these guys will be backwards compatible) with the XC series (XC Duo, XC-HG Duo, XC Micro (M2 XC), XC-HG Micro (M2 XC-HG)) using the exFAT file system, and the PRO series (including the PRO Duo, PRO-HG Duo, Micro (M2), HG Micro (M2-HG)) using the tried and true FAT12/16/32. Memory freaks can thrill to the specifications for the new class after the break.
As we've seen with the slight resurgence of new and improved incandescent light bulbs, the amount of energy used to actually light up the bulb isn't necessarily the whole measure of energy efficiency. There's also the small matter of producing the bulb, shipping it around the world, and eventually disposing of it. With that in mind, the Siemens Corporate Technology Centre for Eco Innovations conducted a study that compared regular compact fluorescents to LED lamps -- using one 25,000-hour LED lamp as a constant, compared to 2.5 10,000-hour compact fluorescents (and 25 1,000-hour incandescents). While it's still holding back on some of the finer details, the group did apparently find that LEDs are no more or no less energy efficient than compact flourescents when the entire lifecycle of the bulb is taken into account, although it is quick to point out that LEDs should eventually win out as they become more efficient to produce.
crazy-beautiful multi-purpose navigation devices of South Korea, is there anything they can't do? If your answer is that they can't teach you English, think again. The iQ Special features a language trainer built on voice recognition software from its predecessor, the FineDrive X700, alongside the usual fare of goodies we westerners rarely get to see: SiRF-based GPS, DMB digital TV, video and music playback, and even TPEG traffic alerts. Priced at 469,000 KWN ($384), this PND is available today, and it's probably redundant to note that it won't be making its way to English-speaking countries any time soon -- not that we doesn't need it, mind you.
Fraunhofer Institute's fruit checker device tracks optimum ripeness so you can stop sniffing those melonsFraunhofer Institute have developed a small device that can be used to check the freshness of fruit, telling the interested parties whether it's ripe or not. Based on previous technologies which measure, for example car emissions, the device measures the volatile gases emitted by the fruit and analyzes its makeup to determine the state of freshness. The team already has a working prototype, and sees the device, which would cost somewhere in the thousands of dollars range, as having widespread application for businesses that supply food to grocery stores. So far the device has only successfully been used to test the freshness of fruit, but researchers see possible future applications in testing meat as well.
Kodak's latest pocket camcorder, the Zi8, and find the shooter to be an interesting hybrid. With a flip-out USB plug, HDMI out and an easily accessible SD card slot, this is clearly a "premium" mix of features for the class, but the $180 pricetag keeps the device firmly grounded in Walmart-friendly reality. Other odd perks like a line-in jack and 1080p have us scratching our heads -- but in a good way. Overall, we'd feel pretty comfortable saying the footage is about the best you can obtain at this pricepoint. Colors are great, the image stabilization isn't a gimmick (sorry, Flip), and if you squint hard enough you can almost believe the 1080p is 1080p. Still, the camera is hampered by its cheap approach to processing and compressing the footage it's taking in -- despite its limitations, we'd say the iPhone 3GS is besting most cheap pocket camcorders on this front, motion just looks much more fluid. But don't take our word for it, check out a couple of video samples after the break.
concepts of what appeared to be a next-generation USB-driven Mimo monitor seem to have found their way into the production line, as the outfit made suddenly famous for its secondary displays now has a new model on tap. The 710-S "Mobile Slider" edition is really just a tweaked version of the aforementioned 7-inch panel, but it has been completely redesigned into a "sleeker, foldable and more portable unit." We hadn't really given much thought to bringing one of these things along in a laptop case, but this critter just might change our opinion on the usefulness to road warriors. Hit the read link to get in line; you'll have the opportunity to part with $149.99 in exchange for one later this month.
they're now a reality -- a reality that Altek wants desperately to be a part of with its T8680 handset. Its face looks rather like a PMP with a 3-inch WQVGA LCD, but on the back is the standard sort of 3x pop-out zoom that you'd expect on a compact shooter, sitting next to a tiny xenon flash. It'll capture unnecessarily high resolution images while being crippled to VGA video, play back MP3 and AAC files, and tune into the Weekly Top 40 over FM. Yes, it'll even make calls, but with only tri-band GSM/EDGE support don't expect to e-mail those gigantic pictures directly from the phone. The T8680 is expected to hit Chinese retailers in about a month for 3000 yuan (about $440), and probably won't be making much of an appearance elsewhere.
iPhone or iPod dock that's significantly different from the legions of alternatives already out. And you're wrong. So wrong. In an effort to milk that Made for iPod / iPhone partnership for all it's worth, Kensington has just introduced its Charging Dock with Mini Battery Pack, which not only charges your dock connecting iPod or iPhone, but also energizes an external battery pack through the same USB cable. When you leave, you'll depart with a charged device as well as a charged battery pack in case you need to use 3G services for more than eight minutes. Brilliant, no? It's up for pre-order now for $69.99.
Bluetooth-enabled input devices have enjoyed the ability to connect multiple wares to a single computer without any fuss, those relying on a USB keyboard and mouse have typically been forced to block a pair of their USB ports in order to have both operating simultaneously. Thanks to Logitech's marvelous new USB Unifying Receiver, said issue is no longer an issue. Designed to operate with the Wireless Keyboard K350 / K340 and Marathon Mouse M705 / M505 (all of which are being jointly announced here), this compact receiver is tiny enough to stay inserted in one's laptop even when it's stored, and while we can't fathom why you'd need a half dozen devices linked at once, the nub definitely supports it. Each of the four new products will ship with one of these special receivers, with the keyboards expected to arrive in the US and Europe this September for $59.99 (K350) / $49.99 (K340) and the mice landing later this month (Europe) / early 2010 (America) for $69.99 (M705) and $49.99 (M505). Incredibly informative demonstration vid is after the break.
We already got word of the starting price for the entry-level 128GB drive in OCZ's new Colossus line of SSDs, but details on the standout 1TB model have unfortunately been quite a bit harder to come by. OCZ's now finally cleared up most of those remaining questions, however, and announced that the drive will be available mid-August for
self-diagnosis. Thanko's unleashed a USB dental "microscope" to let you check out the inside of your own mouth in great detail -- because you're so much more knowledgeable than a real dentist, right? This puppy's got six LEDs plus a small CMOS camera so you can shoot JPEGs / BMPs or 1,280×1024 resolution vids of your champers then check them out on your home computer. Of course, the sample shots (which are disgusting and after the break) inexplicably show a closeup of someone's scalp, demonstrating that this USB badboy has a variety of uses, all of them pretty gross. Is there something wrong with us if we just don't want to see our bodies in that much detail? It's only available on Thanko's Japanese site for the time being, and costs in the neighborhood of $80, but we have a feeling that it'll show up in the States anyday now... as soon as Oprah gets wind of it.
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Rasheed Ahmed .K