|Posted on February 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
Canon's Powershot D10 has been a popular option for those looking for a compact camera that performs well and stands up to outdoor conditions. Now, a few years later we are seeing the updated offering.
The Canon Powershot D20 which is to be available in the next couple of months, adds GPS tracking, a 5x image stabilized zoom that is useful in both still shots and video, a higher sensitivity 12.1 megapixel sensor, and 1080p HD video capabilities. It sports a 28mm wide angle lens, 3" LCD, and an electronic wind filter function to provide better audio in more rugged conditions. It's waterproof down to 33 feet, temperature tolerant from 14 to 104 degrees F, and can withstand a fall of up to 5 feet without any damage. Users can adjust the ISO up to 3200 for even greater detail in low light conditions.
All in all, it should be an excellent choice for anyone in search of a GPS digital camera that's also tough enough to handle the outdoors. It is priced around $349 online.
|Posted on December 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
Modern devices multi-task. In addition, most modern devices keep you connected. With the Parrot Asteroid, car stereo is now joining the modern age.
This device can install in any vehicle and is compatible with all Bluetooth phones. It runs Android and gives users access to a variety of Android apps. It also includes built-in GPS, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity. You can get driving assistance, geolocation, identify points of interest, check the weather, send/read messages, listen to internet radio, podcasts, and music on your other devices. With phone synchronization and voice activation/voice tagging, you can also make handsfree calls.
It features an MP3 dock, an SD card slot, 4 USB inputs, a 3.5mm auxillary input, and a 3.2" color screen. It includes 55Watt x 4 built-in amplifiers and a separate subwoofer output as well as 6 RCA preamp outputs.
The Parrot Asteroid is priced at $307 and offers easy installation. You can see it below.
|Posted on December 6, 2011 at 5:40 AM||comments (0)|
Internet radio is popular because of the wide selection it offers listeners. Podcasts and music from all over the world give it an edge over other competition. Listening to is possible obviously on web connected devices from computers to smart phones, but there are also dedicated internet radio players. Costs vary of course as does the quality of the audio these devices offer. Paying under $150 for one of these devices is rare however.
However, there is one possibility if you are on the search for something a bit more budget friendly. The Q2 Wi-Fi internet radio regularly costs around $129 (but of course can be found for less on sale). It won't take up much tabletop or countertop space and in fact, is highly portable. It measures only 6.4' x 7.8" x 7.5" and offers a single 2.4" 4ohm speaker. Of course it picks up music and podcasts from across the globe, but users can set up 4 station pre-sets to make tuning into their favorite stations quick and simple.
This radio has no display and no buttons, instead users move the radio itself to increase/decrease volume, change stations, and so forth. For instance, to mute the sound, it merely needs to be flipped over onto it's face. Pretty intuitive. It provides stereo audio through headphones and mono without them. The Lithium-ion battery provides up to 8 hours of playback.
|Posted on November 3, 2011 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
GE may not be the first name you think of when considering a quality digital camera, but they do offer some solid models that may fit your budget. One of their most recent, the GE Power Pro X500 offers users a respectable all round shooter and ease of use.
The X500 offers a 16 megapixel sensor for plenty of detail in your shots and 15x optical zoom/6x digital zoom, which is far more than the average budget compact camera. It's a bit bulkier than many compact models but it's also much easier to grip and lends itself to a steadier hold reducing blurry images. Of course the optical image stabilization also assures less blur and the face, smile, and blink detection can also help in getting the best focus and exposure on your subjects.
It has a 2.7" LCD, a high ISO setting (3200) to improve detail when shooting in low light, as well as video recording capabilities; 640x480 resolution at 30 frames per second. It hosts only 14MB of onboard memory but has an SD card slot which allows users to expand memory up to 16GB. It's priced online at $129.99.
|Posted on November 3, 2011 at 8:40 AM||comments (0)|
While viewing images or video on a cell phone screen, camcorder display, and so forth is useful, it's not really something that is conducive to sharing with others. Sure you can pass the device around, but using a projector or connecting to a TV is still the better way when you want a group of people to enjoy or learn from the images and video you have stored on your device. Of course toting along a full sized projector or having a large TV on hand at all times isn't always possible either.
Pico projectors have been a good solution. They are palm sized and yet allow the user to project images, with audio, without requiring additional equipment. Many of them can project images as large as 80", 100" and larger. The next step in the evolution however, is to of course include these miniaturized projectors in the devices themselves. Certainly, there are a few camcorders out there with this capability. Sony has their PJ50V, PJ30V and PJ10 and for those on a budget, there is the pocket camcorder with a projector from 3M, the Shoot N-Share CP40. Beyond this, the pickings are slim.
Cell phones with built in projectors are hopefully coming, but there aren't any available at this time.
However, for those with an iPhone or iPod with video capabilities there is the option of a sound system/dock/projector that may be a reasonable solution until built-in pico projectors become the norm. Optoma, a well established brand in the projector business, now has the Neo-i which is a iPod dock that includes a good audio system with 16 watt stereo audio with digital sound processing and Bass Reflex. It also includes a DLP projector with a LED light source providing 50 lumen brightness. It allows users to enjoy music and video with images projected up to 120" in size. Images can be displayed on any flat surface, although certainly a light colored wall is the best option.
Dimming the lights and keeping the projector within several feet of the projector gets the best results, but detail is pretty respectable with 2,000:1 contrast ratio.
This device comes with a remote control and a battery pack. It offers HDMI and VGA inputs as well for connecting other devices. Although originally priced around $599 it's can be found online deeply discounted at this time.
|Posted on October 28, 2011 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
A good music phone needs to provide access to the tunes you love, all of the formats you use, easy controls, adequate storage, and so forth. However, none of it matters if the audio isn't any good. There's always the option of upgrading the headphones that come pre-packaged with the phone, but good speakers, equalizers, and robust audio technology can't be replaced.
HTC has released a couple of phones that offer an enhanced listening experience over the past several months. First the HTC Rhyme. It's a phone that may be more attractive to women, thanks to the rosy color and the flashing charm that alerts the user to incoming calls and messages, but it still offers some notable features. It's runs with the Android Gingerbread OS, provides they typical SMS/MMS messaging, conference calling, voice commands, speed dial, and speakerphone capabilities as well as multi-window browsing, Flash support, 4GB of onboard storage, and a microSD slot for expansion up to 32GB. Users can also use the Friend Stream to keep up with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.
This phone also offers a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, auto focus, face detection, no shutter lag, and 720p HD video recording. For music lovers however, the more important attributes are the built-in speakers, the included tangle free headset with two sizes of eartips for a better fit, and the desktop dock which allows the phone to function as an alarm clock, photo viewer, or music player.
More recently the HTC Sensation XE was also introduced. It is a fast phone with a 1.5GHz dual core processor, Android OS, and 4.3" qHD touch screen. It also offers an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and 1080p HD video recording, as well as a front facing video chat camera. It is among the best music phones simply because of it's Beats Audio technology and the included Beat by Dr. Dre in-ear headphones with remote control. For now, it's available in the US primarily online as an unlocked device (no contract).
|Posted on October 20, 2011 at 6:05 AM||comments (0)|
A year ago the best camera phones included models like the HTC Sensation, Nokia's N8, and HTCs EVO 4G. Sensors that offered more detail in the form of 8 to 12 megapixels were part of the increasing quality of the built in cameras being offered. Of course much more goes into a good shot than the number of megapixels crammed on to a tiny sensor. For Nokia's N8, the Xenon flash and solid Carl Zeiss optics also helped create good detail and color accuracy.
Technologies to reduce blurring and apps to provide creative effects abd shooting modes for the right focus and exposure are also useful. One of the front runners this year is the HTC Amaze. It offers an 8 megapixel
backlit sensor which provides slight improvement in light sensitivity for better indoor/low light shooting. Of course the dual LED flash also assists in these situations. It adds in technologies for improving focus and minimizing blur with face detection, shake detection, and so forth.
The f2.2 wide angle lens is fast and allows you to get more in the shot. With a Sweep Panorma function, it's even possible to get those ultrawide landscape type shots. There is a burst mode that can capture up to 5 frames in rapid succession as well as a variety of shooting modes from night to action, and even macro. But, if you prefer making your own choices regarding settings for exposure and so forth, there is a manual mode as well.
The Amaze can also capture full HD video.
It's a pretty powerful phone as well, with a 1.5GHz dual core processor, Android 2.3 OS, 16GB of onboard storage plus an expansion slot, and a huge 4.3 inch multi-touch display. It's a 4G phone offered by T-Mobile with Bluetooth 3.0 and Wireless-N Wi-Fi. It includes GPS, access to Android Apps, a built-in media player with FM radio, and a front facing camera for video chat. It's currently available for $199.99 through T-Mobile.
|Posted on September 30, 2011 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
Kindle has made their latest ebook readers available. There are several models, from the affordable Kindle Wi-Fi, priced as low as $79 with "special offers and screensavers), to the Touch models, and finally, the long awaited Kindle Fire which offers a more tablet-like experience.
Certainly some ereaders before the Fire have added access to web content and browsers, but this Kindle offering is particularly well adapted to the task. Certainly, it's a great reading device with a wide range of file fomat compatibility (video, audio, photo/image, and text) and provides a myriad of reading-centric features, along with access to the huge library of books, magazines and newspapers that one would expect. It also provides plenty of storage for that content; 8GB onboard plus of course, users get the security of Amazon Cloud backup.
However, this device runs with a dual core processor and "cloud accelerated" browser that makes streaming video, movies, and TV shows fast. Beyond the 1,000,000 books and the ability to borrow from the public library, users can also enjoy 17,000,000 million songs via the Amazon MP3 store and magazines, movies, TV shows, and apps/games at the Amazon AppStore. Amazon even throws in a free month of Amazon Prime service which includes instant movie streaming and free shipping from the Amazon site.
The 7" multi-touch color screen is perfect for those movies and navigation is quick and intuitive. The top mounted stereo speakers and 3.5mm stereo audio jack provide a rather good audio experience as well. This device is now available for pre-order for $199.
The question is, is this the next step in the evolution of ebook readers or the end as they fade in to tablets? Either way, the result seems to be positive for consumers.
|Posted on September 28, 2011 at 12:40 AM||comments (0)|
Satellite TV provider DISH Network recently rolled out their Blockbuster Movie Pass subscription service. It's a throw back to the Netflix service of old, or at least the Netflix service prior to the price hike some weeks ago. The service provides users with access to over 100,000 movie and TV show titles which are available via mail delivery. Both unlimited DVDs and video games are available through the $10/month service. In addition, customers get access to over 3,000 titles for streaming to their internet connected television and an additional 1,000 titles for their PC.
The Blockbuster Movie Pass service however is available only to DISH customers at this time. New customers can sign up for 3 months of free Blockbuster as long as they sign up for the satellite service prior to 1/31/12 and add the Blockbuster service within 45 days of sign up.
|Posted on September 26, 2011 at 1:50 PM||comments (1)|
Internet radio has breathed new life into radio listening. With thousands of world wide stations, podcasts, and more, it provides a wide variety of news and entertainment. Of course listening on your computer or smartphone isn't always the way to get the best sound. For that, there are standalone internet radio players. But what about when you're on the road?
Getting internet radio in your car got easier when Livio rolled out their Internet Radio Car Kit. Mounting/connecting the device takes seconds. Just install the app on your smartphone, plug it in to the 12 volt charging outlet on your car, connect to your stereo with the FM transmitter, and connect to your smartphone with Bluetooth, then you're ready to enjoy all that internet radio has to offer. (See step by step instructions below.)
You get access to over 45,000 stations and all with no fee.
With the kit installed you can still take handsfree calls, charge, and re-dial as needed. It's priced at $99 online.