Today, Sony announced the immediate retail and online availability of its Sony NV-U73T and Sony NV-U83T portable navigation systems. Announced back at CES 2008, both models focus on safety and have text-to-speech technology, nearly 5 million points of interest with branded icons and preloaded maps of the United States and Canada. They're equipped with SiRF StarIII GPS chips, but the units also have a feature called Position Plus that includes pressure, gyro, and acceleration sensors, which should provide for more accurate positioning even when driving through tunnels and in between tall buildings. In addition, you can perform certain functions … Read more
Ick! Did I actually just write a headline with the words "disposable" and "battery"?! Let's see...yep, I did. But before you get your environmentalist dander up, consider: one, I recycle; two, I use compact fluorescent lightbulbs, and three, I have a relevant story to share.
About three years ago, at a CES show in Las Vegas, a PR flack handed me a Cellboost disposable battery for my Treo smartphone. "You never know when you might need it," she winked.
Flash-forward to three weeks ago, when my phone (it's a Centro now, … Read more
Welcome to the free world, Microsoft. Today Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, announced that Microsoft is making several bold strides to make its software and its company more open, transparent, and community-oriented.
As a Microsoft admirer, critic, and competitor, I can't help but applaud the depth and breadth of this move (though not everyone thinks there's much to celebrate here). It is a banner day in the software industry (and proof that back-room bargains are the wrong way to achieve interoperability).
Ray Ozzie declared:Customers need all their vendors, including and especially Microsoft, to deliver software and services that are flexible enough such that any developer can use their open interfaces and data to effectively integrate applications or to compose entirely new solutions. By increasing the openness of our products, we will provide developers additional opportunity to innovate and deliver value for customers.
Amen. But what does this mean? Four principal things:… Read more
Good deals come to those who wait. The Archos 404 portable media player sold for $299 when it debuted in late summer '06, but now you can scoop one up for just $109.99 shipped. It's a reconditioned unit, but it includes a six-month warranty (according to the product page).
The Archos 404 measures 3x4x0.6 inches, meaning it's easily compact enough to slip into a pocket. It sports a 30GB hard drive and 3.5-inch screen, and it can record line-in audio and video (with optional adapters). It supports a wide range of video, photo, and audio … Read more
Still, there may be something to appease the ever-expanding legions of heroes for the time being in the form of a miniature version created by Basic Fun, apparently with Activision's blessing. The "Guitar Hero Carabiner," which is to make its debut next week at the International Toy Fair in New York, measures a petite 7.75 long and 3 inches wide, though the neck … Read more
For about the price of a budget digital camera, you can snag a budget digital camera and portable snapshot printer to go with it. Circuit City has the Kodak EasyShare C613 6-megapixel camera and EasyShare G610 dock/printer for $129.99 shipped (plus sales tax in most states).
The camera's fairly basic, offering a compact design, 2.4-inch LCD, and 3x optical zoom; CNET readers rated it 6.2 out of 10, meaning it's probably fine for tossing in your bag for everyday use, but not the camera you want to rely on for the family photo that'… Read more
As they continue to morph into music devices, phone makers have made significant strides in portable speakers over the last year. But all too often they're still too big to carry around easily, with even the most compact models often larger than the phone itself. At the other end of the scale, some of the smallest versions look like some kind of makeshift project from a 7th grade electronics class.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's not mentioned in its product description, but there's an obvious point to make about the design of the new "Parrot Party" portable speaker: It looks like an old-fashioned telephone receiver.
So even if you have the newest, hottest music phone on the market, you'll immediately be transported back to the bad old Ma Bell days if you pull out this "Black Edition" of the 6-watt, 9-inch-long speaker to go with it. Pocket-lint says it's compatible with other U.K. devices too, … Read more
Going wireless doesn't have to mean going digital. If you want to declare your analog loyalty to the great outdoors, then my product reviews this week are just the ticket. First off, we have the Ion iPTUSB portable turntable, which includes a built-in speaker, USB output, and a line-in recording jack.
If the iPTUSB's mono speaker speaker isn't enough to get your portable party started, then you may want to consider augmenting it with Yamaha's latest NX-B02 portable speaker tower. Together, you've got the classiest little retro-modern sound system in town.
Have any other picnic-worthy … Read more
There's clearly no shortage of speaker sets for the iPod, but what about its call-happy brother the iPhone? In fact, since it uses the same proprietary 30-pin connector as its phoneless counterparts, the iPhone works with many of the sound systems that were designed with the iPod in mind. However, none of those speakers have integrated technology to prevent electromagnetic interference. That's where the new DLO Portable Speakers for iPod come in. (How's that for creative naming?)
The speakers, which cost a reasonable $49.99, offer an interference-free amplifier. The unit also comes with two orbiting speakers … Read more