It’s a new year and the best way to start it is with some sexy tech gear. E&T gives you the lowdown.
Dell Inspiron Duo
Flip it one way, it's a tablet computer to rival the iPad, flap it the other and it's a netbook with a full QWERTY keyboard. When time is short, or space is cramped, or when you're after some multimedia without any need to type, the simplicity of the touchscreen tablet will appeal; when you need to type out longer documents or emails, then you'll flip and fold into a proper QWERTY-keyboarded netbook. Specs? 10in 720p high-def screen, 1.5GHz Intel Atom N550 dual core and 2GB RAM, with hard drive from 250GB. The main catch so far? The viewing angle on the screen's less than ideal.
www.dell.co.uk from £449
Lomography Sprocket Rocket
Lomography cameras are known for being retro and quirky physical film cameras. And the latest is no exception. The Sprocket Rocket derives its name from the fact that the frame takes up the entire height of a 35mm film exposure, sprockets and all. And if that wasn't visually striking, stylish and neo-retro enough, then the Rocket also winds backwards as well as forwards – so you can re-expose over images multiple times. Plus there's a super-wide panoramic lens on-board too. The end result makes physical film well worth a revisit (and the camera itself looks great too). Brand new, so retro.
Zeal Optics GPS Goggles
The most high-tech snow goggles on the planet? Discounting secret military hardware, probably. These Zeal Optics come with high-end optics, but the flash bit is the built-in GPS satellite tracking that flashes up information to an LCD display mounted in the corner of the goggle. As well as speed, altitude and distance travelled, the GPS Goggles track current location, displays temperature and acts as a chronograph for timed runs. The entire thing runs on rechargeables for up to seven hours. And when you get back to base, you can download your route and logged data via USB. Of course, the technology comes at a high cost, though.
The world's first 'combined dawn simulator lamp and digital radio'. In other words, this will wake you up gently over a period of time with a gradually brightening light, as well as gently fading up the volume on your choice of digital radio station, or built in 'natural' alarm tones including wind chimes, a dawn chorus or cicadas chirruping. Fittingly for the name, the Twilight does the reverse at night – gradually dimming down to Radio 4, or a lullaby. Like other Pure products, it'll also take an iPod/iPhone/MP3 player input, will charge USB devices and features FM as well as DAB radio.
D-Link Boxee Box
Watch TV grabbed off the Internet, on your TV. That's the premise of the Boxee Box. But it's also the idea behind Apple TV, which is half the price ' both stream high-definition video content from your network drive/computer/router to your TV. The differences? Boxee is built to take the hassle out of getting content in the first place – it uses apps to access a massive range of stuff from BBC iPlayer to Lovefilm rental service (coming soon) to the usual YouTube – with a far wider range of codecs, services and sites served. Boxee also builds in social networking – so you can access friends' Facebook and Twitter recommendations directly. Smart, but is it worth the extra money?
The race is on. Denon claim their latest noise-cancelling cans, the AH-NC800s, cancel 99 per cent of all ambient noise. Who's going to be first to claim 99.9 per cent? How does Denon reach such a high proportion of external sound scrubbed? By using 'Dual Noise Cancelling'. Traditionally, noise-cancelling headphones mount a small microphone on the outside of the cup, picking up external noise and then creating a cancelling signal inside. These use two mics – one outside and one inside the cup – for two bites of the noise-cancelling cherry. The headphones also use a precise anatomically-shaped headband to hold itself closer to your head – again cutting out any gaps that let noise in.