It's great that solar rechargers are starting to catch on, but we're not thrilled at the idea of carrying one that's 10 times the size of the phone it's supposed to power. Brunton's "SolarPort 4.4" isn't that big and won't give us a hernia (we hope), but it's still not as portable as we'd like.
A Manhattan artist friend recently asked me if I knew of any "cool portable electric pencil sharpener gadgets." Someone actually has use for an electric pencil sharpener? Isn't that like using an electric can opener, when the hand crank is faster?
Actually, no. While in the zone, artists don't want to have to stop to sharpen pencils, I was informed. That would make them lose their groove. They just want a quick dunk to sharpen up so that they can go right on back to sketching.
This sounds almost too good to be true: a wireless technology that can be used to charge all devices simultaneously, regardless of type or brand. Yet that's what a company called WildCharge claims to do with its new product.
All you need to do is lay your cell phone, PDA or other device on or near its "WildCharger," a flexible roll-up pad with a power adapter attached to one edge. The devices, which can even include laptops, then absorb their electrical charge wirelessly, the company says.
Pricing for the WildCharger, which is slated for debut at CES … Read more
A word of caution: If you have kids, don't get this. And if you do, be prepared to it within the first 24 hours of purchase.
As much as we love this robot USB key, we feel obligated to issue that warning from personal experience. But if you're not a parent, guardian or schoolteacher, then by all means have a look at this neat little device from Japan's SolidAlliance. Sure, 256MB isn't much storage space by today's standards, but how many other USB keys can you dispatch to do battle with Ultraman?
Few categories have been so overdone than iPod speakers. After posting our last item on a pair of these ubiquitous products, we imposed an unofficial moratorium on them. It lasted a lot longer than expected: a whole six days. We figure we missed 40 or 50 speaker announcements in that time.
So why are we breaking the fast now? Just look at the picture, Sparky. It's a speaker shaped like an iron. And a pink one at that, though it also comes in orange and lime green. Even Chip Chick was moved to declare it "the oddest iPod … Read more
We have no interest in using a fold-up keyboard, but we do admit to having an odd curiosity about them--kind of like the way an entomologist studies a beetle, as Raymond Chandler would say. But we digress.
So we're always looking for one that actually seems like something someone would use: not too bulky, impractical or weird-looking. This one from Diatec Japan might at least take care of the first two criteria. The "Papillon FKB66PU" (Papillon!) is a full-size keyboard designed to work with all manner of devices, according to Newlaunches. The only strange feature is an … Read more
If imitation is really the sincerest form of flattery, than tech manufacturers are certainly a sycophantic lot. And the most popular object of their affection always seems to be something from Apple.
Take the "iPod mouse" from Buffalo, for instance. If it didn't have a retractable USB line hanging out awkwardly like an umbilical cord, it could have been separated at birth from the real thing. Not only that, but it also resembles similar products from Anyzen and Samsung. So make it a three-fer for Buffalo.
It's hard enough to find a mouse that's ergonomically correct; but this one would seem to beg unnatural contortions by building in "a four-way scroll wheel, Internet forward and back buttons, Play/Pause/Volume control keys, (and) forward and backwards music track keys," as described by Ubergizmo.
Our wrists are getting sore just thinking about it.
Sometimes it seems that the entire population is wearing a headset or earphones. So why should there be a different pair for every function?
Sony Ericsson thinks there shouldn't, so it's come out with a wireless headset kit that can be used for Bluetooth cell phone signals, USB connections and even VoIP calls. It can run for up to 12 hours of continuous talk time or 300 when idle, according to Electronista.
Now if we can just figure out how to make it work with an iPod, we'll be all set.
One of the drawbacks of Apple's smallest and cheapest desktop is the lack of hard drive space. Given its tiny chassis, the Mac Mini can hold but one hard drive, and the largest unit Apple offers for it is a relatively puny 160GB drive. For the past year, Iomega has been selling the 250GB MiniMax Drive, which looks just like the Mac Mini and can be nested with Apple's tiny desktop. The drive is particularly useful for home theater aficionados looking to use the Mac Mini as a living-room DVR repository. It doesn't take long to fill … Read more