Gadgets

This month, storage dominates our thoughts as we figure out what to do with all that multimedia content.

Maxtor One Touch 4 Mini

Maxtor's OneTouch 4 Mini, with 120Gb, is for home users who want a compact solution to safeguarding a small collection of essential files that's too hefty for a USB flash drive. Plug it into two spare USB ports - no need for a separate power cable - and you're ready to drag and drop. You can schedule regular backups of specified folders, and Windows users can take advantage of the SafetyDrill utility to back up their machine's whole internal drive. Designed for portability, it automatically synchronises files between computers.

www.lambda-tek.com [new window]

£51.29

Maxtor Shared Storage II

When hard-drive manufacturer Maxtor was taken over by larger rival Seagate, many wondered whether this brand would survive. It has and now specialises in producing practical and robust storage devices and drives. We suspect that this device has been designed for the small business market, but some bright spark thought that it would work well with consumers - hence the media streaming capability. The backup utility would require a degree of computer networking knowledge, but once set up, this 2Tb quiet squat-ugly device can be forgotten about. It could benefit from being wireless, as it has to be positioned near your router in order to be physically connected.

www.probsolvexpress.com [new window]

£368.61

Acer Aspire One Netbook

Acer is the latest PC maker to enter the emerging netbook market with the Aspire One (pictured) - a low-cost computer designed to compete with the Asus Eee PC and similar devices.

Weighing less than a kilo, it runs Linux and offers Wi-Fi and an 8GB solid-state drive. It is clearly aimed at Internet users who do not generate their own content but view Internet sites from home or on the move. 3G versions are expected to be sold by mobile operators while the WiMax versions will be available once the spectrum is available later this year in some territories. Available from 10 July

www.acer.co.uk [new window]

£200

Flip Video

Any mobile phone that you buy today will have an inbuilt camera with the ability to record, but the problem arises when you try to transfer these files to your computer or television. You might encounter compatibility issues - or it may just be a cumber-some process. Enter the Flip Video, a device with just one mission - recording, playing and transferring video for immediate playback. The name derives from a flip-out USB connector which connects to your PC and automatically downloads the editing software. The video is playable in both Windows Media and Quicktime players.

www.amazon.co.uk [new window]

£99.99

Jawbone Noise Cancelling Headset

The Jawbone Bluetooth headset incorporates noise-cancelling technology. Unlike headphones, however, the wearer doesn't hear any clearer, but the person who he or she is talking to does. What really sets out the Jawbone - and where it derives its name - is the positioning of a microphone resting on your jawbone which detects when you're speaking and cancels out all noise when you're not. Volume levels for the wearer are very low, meaning that you may still have difficulty hearing your caller when in noisy places.

www.expansys.com [new window]

£72.96

Pinnacle PCTV USB DVBT Stick Ultimate

It wasn't long ago that digital tuners were half the size of a laptop and required their own power supply. Available in white, this gadget is slightly larger than a standard USB stick and therefore shakes slightly when inserted in the laptop USB port. The magnetic base on the aerial is, however, welcome. It allows you to capture TV or radio shows to your hard-disk in MPEG-1/2 or DivX format. You can schedule recordings with the free electronic programme guide (EPG) or immediately start capturing at the touch of a button. What's more, you can access Internet radio with customisable channel lists. Overall, the Pinnacle PCTV USB stick is an ideal companion to any Windows laptop, and is simple to use.

www.scan.co.uk [new window]

£24.66

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