Once again, I posit the question: why does Asia get all the cool stuff? (I sense I'm beginning to whine about this a bit.) Twinbird, a Japanese company that produces a variety of novelty gadgets, is coming out with a product called Link Zabady...or at least, that's how Engadget has translated it. At any rate, a big thanks to my fellow bloggers for bringing this fabulous gadget to my attention, even if I never get my hands on one. The Link Zabady consists of a splash-proof, 7-inch LCD screen with 480x234 resolution, a transmitter box, and a … Read more
They're baaa-aack. Actually, they never left. In recent years the mainstream media has often dismissed Microsoft as old news, offering headlines about its decline that have focused on Bill Gates' departure, Vista delays, Internet Explorer bugs and Google, Google, Google.
Yet if there's one thing we've learned about the battle-hardened veterans of Redmond--declining or otherwise--it's never count them out. Witness the news about TV and movie downloads through Xbox Live, including high-definition shows. Microsoft has long understood the potential for an uber-device to take over all digital home entertainment, from games and Web browsing to television … Read more
TiVo may be falling under the superficial spell of techno-fashion with its Glo Remote, but competing gadgets know that beauty is only clamshell deep. Take, for example, the InVoca voice-activated universal remote, which supposedly recognizes up to four voices and 25 commands for your TV, VCR, DVD player and other devices. It also has a charging base--shouldn't all products have those by now?--and a hands-free surfing function (we're not sure exactly how that works). The InVoca's name reminds us of an Italian scooter, but we've already gotten over that. If it works as billed, we … Read more
Digital photo frames seem a dime a dozen nowadays, though some have some interesting features. But these new 7- and 8-inch screens from Mustek are different: They are relative inexpensive ($100 for the smaller version) and can play MPEG video and music with built-in MP3 speakers, as well as show off your treasured snapshots. Unfortunately, the media apparently can be refreshed only by changing a memory card, rather than a remote Internet connection--meaning that you can't just send new stuff to grandparents in another state, unless you want to snail-mail it to them. That's too bad, because it … Read more
The Slingbox is no longer a Windows-only device. Today, Sling Media posted the beta version of the SlingPlayer software for Mac OS X. As to be expected with beta software, there are a few caveats: for now, the software is intended only for U.S. and Canadian Slingbox owners, and it will run only on Macs running OS X version 10.4. That said, we were able to download, install, and run it on an iMac in well under five minutes, and it performed smoothly during our first full day of testing. Download links and an FAQ are available at … Read more
While the general public has taken kindly to the Xbox 360's dashboard, nothing inspires change more than last-minute panic. Perhaps sensing big things on the way from the Sony PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft has an pretty hefty UI update (85 new features) ready to deploy today.
The biggest new feature on the way is the addition of the ability to output 1080p--we'll have to fish out our VGA adaptor to test this when it hits, as most HDTVs can't output 1080p via component. Besides providing a higher output for games, the Xbox 360 will … Read more
Don't batteries suck? I mean, either they blow up in your face, or in the case of Apple's iPod, their lifespans just don't cut it--especially when you're watching video. I mean, what good is a portable video player if it can't get you through a flight from New York to L.A.?
Enter the Sonnettech Volta, a battery add-on that you strap onto your iPod like a backpack. If it works, it'll keep your iPod's video player going for 16 hours or recharge the little guy up to three times. Just think--you could … Read more
In the past, we've been impressed with Niro's virtual speaker systems, but we hadn't heard from the company (founded by Nakamichi's founder, Niro Nakamichi) for a while, so we assumed it had gone belly-up. Not true. Niro's back with several new 1.1 surround systems that all have a low-profile, "made-for-plasma" look. The entry-level 420 starts at $$580 while the top-of-the-line 1000 is priced at $1390. All are due out shortly.
Niro says that first and foremost the new speakers have an "expanded soundstage and enhanced surround effects, thanks in part to … Read more
With the influx of new high-def movie players this holiday season, particularly ones masquerading as gaming systems and accessories, Toshiba is hoping to catch the attention of high-def adopters with a mail-in offer valid with the purchase of any of the company's HD-DVD players starting November 1 (that's next Wednesday, so make sure to laugh at anyone who picks one up this weekend).
The PDF mail-in form allows buyers to pick one free one movie each from three of the format's biggest backers; Universal, Warner Brothers, and Paramount each have five titles to choose from. With next-gen … Read more
This VGA device is designed to make your life simpler--that is, if your definition of simplicity involves playing console games, using your computer, and watching TV or DVDs all at the same time. The Logic 3 Super VGA Box allows you to do all of the above on your computer screen, complete with a remote control, without changing any plugs. We assume that the manufacturer takes no responsibility for any afflictions resulting from prolonged use of the device.