Tool up this June with some enviable gadget bling for your home.
1 Archos 7 DVR
Are you looking for a media player with a bit more oomph? Archos rarely disappoints, particularly with its latest media player boasting a larger screen than its sibling, the Archos 5, but retaining the same style. The touch screen complements the familiar user interface. Like all DVRs in the range, users can record their favourite TV shows straight off the TV and detach the player for viewing on the long commute, if they wish.
2 Lindy gold-plated HDMI cable
Parliamentarians can no longer justify those gold-plated taps in the bathroom to the fees office. In fact, it is unlikely that they will be able to justify expenditure on a cheese sandwich from now on. But this should not put you off from getting a decent - even gold-plated! - HDMI cable for your TV. This one is impressive because the cable itself is sturdy and robust. If you are fortunate enough to be able to spend a fortune on a new high-def TV, this would be the right HDMI cable to opt for.
3 Logitech N100 laptop cooler
It is not uncommon to be browsing the Web in your bedroom or living-room with your laptop either balanced on your knees or resting on some type of soft furnishing. This is, however, not very good for your lithium-ion battery which is likely to heat itself and some of the other components up. If you rest your device on this cooler - with its own separate cooling fan - you are likely to extend the life of your computer. The processor is also likely to work better in a cooler environment.
If you are a big fan of the Slingbox, this new device from Slingmedia will certainly pique your interest. As its name implies, it is a receiving device for the Slingbox which allows you to view content from one TV onto another. Also, with a PC and the companion Sling Projector software it will allow you to transmit any video that is played on your computer screen over your local area network. It works best when it is wired in rather than wireless - particularly with higher-definition signals. Therefore, you may want to invest in some Power Over Ethernet adaptors.
5 Flip Mino HD
This is the latest pocket camcorder from Flipvideo, the creators of the original budget, out-of-the-box digital camcorder which went on sale last year. Now you can record your memories in high definition without spending a fortune. Like the original Flip, the device comes preloaded with Windows software that auto-installs itself on to your PC with basic video and sound-editing capabilities. Its reasonable price tag means that you wouldn't be too worried to take it with you on a night on the town or in your travel hand luggage.
6 Sony X Series Walkman
The Walkman brand still has a cachet that means a great deal to many - as long as you're over 21, anyway. Sony certainly hasn't given up on this iconic media player that truly made music personal. The new flagship player has some interesting features, such as digital noise cancelling, with the twist that the technology is partly built into the player meaning that the accompanying earbuds are quite discrete. However, this also means that you will not be able to use third party headphones as it won't work with the circuitry built into the device. It is about two-thirds the dimension of the iPod Touch and is similarly priced. The touch screen interface is very responsive, although it lacks the panache of the iPod multitouch interface. This device might not challenge the iPod, but it looks set to carve out its own little niche.
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