Gadgets

Our reviewers offer their verdict on devices including BlackBerry's new Bold smartphone.

1. Olympus E-520 SLR Camera

Designed to compete with budget SLRs from Canon and Sony, this ten megapixel camera has an LCD screen that displays a live image from the lens, so there's no need to keep your eye glued to the viewfinder. It also sports a built-in image stabiliser and a dust-reduction system, alongside face-detection software and automatic shadow adjustment. Novices will hit the ground running with the availability of 32 scene modes. With a 3.5 fps speed and a roomy buffer it more than keeps up with its competitors.

www.olympus.co.uk [new window]

£479.99 (body only)
Available in June

2. Asus Eee PC 900

Slightly larger than its predecessor, this miniature computer comes with a durable, shock-proof casing - making it easy to carry and connect to the Web. The 900 features 1GB of RAM, an increased storage capacity of 20GB, and a wider 8.9in screen. The larger screen makes the Eee PC 900 more pleasurable to view - which is particularly noticeable when browsing the Web. The extra memory and storage are also very welcome, making this version of the Eee PC a real alternative to a fully featured notebook. Although higher in price, it still represents, in our view, excellent value for money.

www.purelygadgets.co.uk [new window]

£348.95

3. V-Moda Vibe

The Vibe from Californian headphone specialist V-Moda represents a state-of-the-art take on in-ear stereo earphones. Housed in a unique, all-metal design, the Vibe puts earphones on a par with high fashion jewellery, while the lightweight micro-size and ultra-soft silicone fittings provide a secure, comfortable fit during the most rigorous activities. However, the proof must be in the audio delivery, and the bass sounds are rich and well balanced (frequency 12Hz to 22Hz) and deliver clarity. The noise-isolating soft silicone further reduces outside noise. Weighing in at only 12g - and supplied with three sizes of fittings in both clear and black colours, the Vibe will fit securely and comfortably and won't jar loose during exercise.

www.johnlewis.com [new window]

£59

4. Samsung SGH F400 Mobile Phone

Samsung's new slider phone features audio technology by Bang & Olufsen via a slide-up speaker that produces very solid bass sounds. It has a dedicated musical user interface with music recognition, which allows easy access to the music library with a 'hot key'. Windows Media Player is included and the FM radio with RDS is a nice touch. Data speeds are fast as it supports HSDPA. What's more, it features a three megapixel camera with flash and pictures can be viewed clearly on the 2.2in colour screen.

Price dependent on contract
Available later this summer

5. Blackberry Bold

Research In Motion has introduced the BlackBerry bold smartphone - the first BlackBerry to support quadband frequencies - including HSDPA high-speed networks around the world. It comes with integrated GPS and Wi-Fi as well as a rich set of multimedia capabilities. The processor clocks in at 624MHz. It also features a half-VGA 480x320 resolution colour LCD display. The Wi-Fi supports enterprise-grade 802.11 a/b/g networks. On this model, the browser can now display full desktop-style Web pages which you scroll with the trackball. Other plus points include voice-activated dialling and Bluetooth 2.0

Price dependent on contract
Available in July

See our feature on BlackBerry creator RIM elsewhere in this issue.

6. Belkin N1 Vision Router

Belkin's New N1 Vision is trumpeted as the first wireless router with an interactive network display. It allows you to view your network's broadband speed, computer bandwidth usage, and the status of connected network devices from an easy-to-read display. Wrapped up in a sleek casing, N1 Vision offers the best in networking performance with its wireless 802.11n design and wired gigabit ports. What's more, installation is made a lot easier with the setup software incorporated in the router itself - allowing the necessary drivers and network security to be set up on multiple computers from the router. The display shows a download/upload speedometer, network bandwidth usage and a number of connected devices.

www.lambda-tek.com [new window]

£94.54

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