Monday, January 12, 2009

Gadgets galore!

The 2009 Consumer Electronics Show took place last week and debuted all sorts of nifty gadgets to add to your life! Because you WILL BE HAPPIER if you GET MORE STUFF! Ok, I'll put aside my general animosity toward mindless consuming in order to admit I'm really impressed by these techy innovations... just buy recharchable batteries, ok? Haha...

Big City Pretty's Top 3 Cool New Toys:
3) Livescribe Pulse smart pen
A finalist in a "Last Gadget Standing" competition at CES on Saturday, this writing implement is a pen and a computer in one. Thanks to an infrared camera near the pen's tip and special paper with microdots that track the pen's movement, the Pulse can digitally capture handwritten notes.

A digital recorder links the notes to audio recorded at the same time -- a lecture, for example -- while handwriting-recognition software allows users to tap anywhere in their written notes and bring up the audio that was recorded when those words were jotted down. The pen contains a USB dock that allows users to upload their notes to a laptop.

The Pulse is available in a 1 GB model for $149. A 2 GB model, which supposedly can record up to 60,000 pages of notes, is $199.
2) Sony Vaio Lifestyle PC
Smaller than a netbook and larger than a smart phone, this sleek device combines the best features of both. For one, it weighs 1.4 pounds and is small enough to fit in your coat pocket.
"It has a cool factor," Sony product manager Xavier Lauwaert said. "You go to a Starbucks and pop this out of your jacket, and people will go, 'Ooh!' "
This Vaio has built-in Bluetooth and GPS technology and runs on Verizon's 3G network, so it's connected to the Web anywhere you can get a cell-phone signal. It also features an 8-inch screen, webcam, two USB ports and a promised four hours of battery life.

The device is available in five colors and hits stores next month. A 60 GB model will sell for $900, a 128 GB model for $1,500.
Coolest New Toy:
1) Polaroid Instant Digital Camera
If you're mourning Polaroid's recent decision to stop making film for its classic instant cameras, here's some good news. This 5-megapixel camera, due on the market in March, contains a built-in printer for producing 2-by-3-inch pictures on the go. The camera's printer contains no ink or toner; the prints pass through a thermal heat head, activating dye crystals embedded in the print paper and producing an image.

The resulting pictures are a little grainy, but they're ready in seconds and have a sticky-back feature for scrapbooking. And, unlike your old Polaroid, you can review the image on the camera's LCD screen before deciding whether to print it. "It's not going to replace your 12-megapixel camera," Polaroid marketing associate Michael Holmes said. "It's fun. It's convenient."

The camera will retail for $199, and a 10-pack of print paper will cost about $5.

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