Paper PC Picks - Best in Tech
Hot tech products seen at press conferences and product showcases. By tech journalist Robert S. Anthony, editor, Stadium Circle Features: www.newyorkbob.com. Also read The Paper PC blog: www.paperpc.com. Twitter: @newyorkbob
When is an Android smartwatch not an Android smartwatch? When it's from @Android Watches, a Florida luxury watch company founded in 1991—long before Google rolled out its Android mobile software in 2007. The Android Smartwatch GTS, shown at the Luxury Technology Show in New York, doesn’t run Android (it uses proprietary software) but can connect wirelessly to Android and iOS smartphones. It has a handful of built-in apps and can be used Dick Tracy-style as a Bluetooth speakerphone. $199
The @ReSound LiNX, billed as the world’s smartest hearing aid, is the first with Bluetooth Smart low-power wireless technology. It can stream phone calls and music in full stereo from an Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. An app lets you control volume, treble/bass and tweak its Surround Sound audio processing technology to fit the setting, like a restaurant. If you lose the LiNX, the app can find it--a map shows the last known location. The $2,500-$3,500 unit is sold only by audiologists.
If you like to sing in the shower, the Kohler Moxie Showerhead and Wireless Speaker can minimize the torture to your family by drowning you out with music streamed from your smartphone. The water-resistant speaker, showcased at an @Amazon.com summer products press preview in New York, clings magnetically to the 2.5 gpm showerhead or can be used as a portable speaker. The @Kohler Co. speaker links with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet, which can stay dry up to 32 feet away. $199
Crayola Virtual Design Pro: From idea to animated 3D fashionware. The Fashion Collection lets users design and color clothing on paper templates, scan their creations into an iPad or Android tablet and within a few clicks have their wares strutted by a cyber model. The Car Collection lets users tweak race cars and have them burn virtual rubber. The $40 @Crayola collections, which include dozens of colored pens and markers, were previewed at the 2014 American International Toy Fair in New York.
Did you miss Monday's New York Daily News? Not to worry. My 2014 International CES preview is now on the paper's website. A handful of new products, like Sony's clever MicroVault 2-in-1 flash drive, which has a PC-friendly USB 2.0 plug on one end, a phone-friendly micro USB plug on the other and 8GB ($20), 16GB ($30) or 32GB ($63) of storage in the middle, are rounded up in the article. #CES2014
A $100 Android smartwatch? E-Fun unveiled its colorful NextONE Smartwatch at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas. The NextONE, which comes in multiple colors and has a 1.5-inch touchscreen, comes with a handful of built-in apps, including a calendar, voice recorder and calculator. Apple iPhone users take heart: Even though the NextONE runs Android 4.1, it will work with both iOS and Android smartphones via Bluetooth. It also has a microphone for Dick Tracy-like voice commands. #CES2014
A 120-inch Ultra HD TV? Table radios that can play Angry Birds? Vizio showed off both at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas. No pricing or launch date was announced for Vizio's 120-inch Reference Series Ultra HD Full-Array LED Smart TV, but its Android-powered table radios, which will offer 7- or 4.7-inch touchscreens, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, may be available later this year. The show runs through Friday. #CES2014
Cyber Monday only: Kindle Fire 7-inch tablets $50 off. Until midnight Amazon lowers the price of the Kindle Fire HD to $119 and the Kindle Fire HDX (top) will start at $179. The new Kindle Fire HD has a faster dual-core processor and newer software than the 2012 version, but lacks the camera the original had. The Kindle Fire HDX has a sharper display than the Kindle Fire HD, a faster quad-core processor and a front-facing camera. CLICK THE PIC for more information #CyberMonday
The Paper PC Picks - Best in Tech Gift Guide was featured today by Luvocracy. Many items seen here can be purchased on Luvocracy, including the $30 Satechi Portable Humidifier, which screws atop any water bottle, and the $40 iRig MIC Cast from IK Multimedia, a pro-grade microphone which plugs into any smartphone. CLICK THE PIC to see the gift guide. @Luvocracy #GiftGuideIt
The Nimbus personal dashboard from @Quirky displays essential data at your bedside or at your desk. You can configure the four digital displays to show the number of emails you have waiting, the temperature, the number of calls you've missed or any of dozens of other useful snippets of information synced via your Apple or Android smartphone. The $130 Nimbus was developed at Quirky, where ideas which gain the support of its members are developed into real products. Nimbus took six months.
The @Native Union Pop Desk takes your cell phone smoothly back to the (gasp!) 20th century, when handsets were big and fit comfortably between your head and shoulder. The $50 set comes with Native Union’s retro-looking Pop handset and a slim stand with a non-slip surface which handles most cell phones. Small openings let cables through so your phone can charge on the stand.
Rayovac 2-Hour Power: Power in your pocket. Rayovac's new line of external mobile device power packs include the PS71 (30--pin iPhone) and PS72 (Micro USB) plug-in chargers. The $9 units include a replaceable (not rechargeable) CR123a lithium battery, which has a 10-year shelf life, thus making them useful emergency backups in case of a power outage. And yes, like the product name says, the Rayovac units will power your smartphone for two hours of talk time.
FREE FOR A DAY: System Mechanic PC tune-up software from iolo technologies. From noon (EST) today (Nov. 13) to noon Thursday, new users can get an activation code good for a free copy of System Mechanic. Once armed with the code, users have until noon Friday to download, install and activate the software, which will have a six-month license. A nice feature is Memory Mechanic, which reclaims memory locked up by programs that don’t shut down properly. CLICK THE PIC for the code—but don’t be late.
And now for something different: The @Lenovo US Yoga Tablet has a cylindrical battery section that serves as a handle, a screen tilt and as a retractable kickstand that lets it stand on its own. The large battery allows the Android 4.2 tablet, which comes with an 8- ($249) or 10-inch ($299) 1,280-by-800-pixel display, to run 18 hours on a charge. “I like to be on a team with people who like to innovate,” said TV star and tech investor Ashton Kutcher at a glitzy Los Angeles launch event. #yoga
The aptly named @Sony Electronics “smartphone attachable lens-style cameras” combine high-quality optics and Wi-Fi to bring high-end photography to smartphones. Your phone wirelessly connects to the camera, handles all controls and serves as the viewfinder. The $250 DSC-QX10 has an 18MP image sensor and an F3.3 Sony lens with 10x optical zoom. The $500 DSC-QX100 (bottom) has a 20MP sensor and an F1.8 Carl Zeiss lens with 3.6x optical zoom. Both were shown at the recent PhotoPlus Expo in New York.
With the debut of the Apple iPad Air ($499-$929) and the iPad mini with Retina display ($399-$699), the 2013 holiday season tablet battle is fully underway. At one pound and 0.29 inches thick, the flagship iPad Air is smaller and thinner than previous iPads but has a much sharper 9.7-inch, 2048-by-1536-pixel Retina display and the much more powerful 64-bit A7 processor. The iPad mini with Retina display has a 5.3-inch screen with the same resolution and uses the same A7 chip as the iPad Air.
The @Soen Audio Transit Bluetooth wireless portable speaker uses proprietary acoustic transducers and a bass-enhancing Momentum Port to generate vibrant audio powerful enough to fill a room. The $200 Transit comes with a rechargeable battery, a spring-loaded rear kickstand and an iPad-like folding magnetic cover to protect its brushed aluminum and rubberized shell. The controls on the Transit, which can be used as a speakerphone, are simple: on/off, volume up/down and a Bluetooth pairing button.
VTech’s popular Retro Phone series just added a new feature: cell phone connectivity. Link the $80 @VTech Phones Retro Phone with Connect to Cell (model LS6191-17) to your cell phone via Bluetooth and leave the cell phone where you get a good signal. Now you can answer both landline and cell calls with the VTech phone, which passes Caller ID info to the cordless handset as well as the base--both of which can be used as speakerphones.
Bose SoundTouch Wi-Fi music system: Three new wireless speakers with the same simple user experience. The $400 SoundTouch 20 (top), $700 SoundTouch 30 and $400 SoundTouch Portable can be configured with free Android, iOS, Mac and Windows apps to stream music from Pandora, Internet radio, a networked computer or a mobile device. A touch of one of six preset buttons turns on the speaker and starts the audio stream. Coming in December: The $600 Bose Wave SoundTouch music system radio (bottom).
See it, scan it, make it: The MakerBot Digitizer Desktop 3D Scanner can scan any object placed on its 8-inch turntable and in 12 minutes create a digital file that can be used to reproduce it in plastic in a 3D printer like the @MakerBot® Replicator 2. The Brooklyn-built $1,400 digitizer has two low-power lasers which take 800 thin scans of the objects, which can be up to 8 inches tall. Scanned objects can be sliced, diced and otherwise edited in software before they’re reproduced.
EXCLUSIVE: Motorola Moto X Software Update Cures Its Wired Headset Headaches. The Moto X succeeds in making life with a smartphone as simple as possible, but until recently it stumbled with one of the most basic of all cell phone accessories: wired headsets with microphones. Fortunately there's now a free fix making the rounds. CLIC THE PIC and read all about it at The Paper PC blog. #motox #motorola #android #smartphone
Dell thundered back into the tablet war with four units: the $150 Venue 7 and $180 Venue 8 budget Android tablets and the $300 Venue 8 Pro and $500 Venue 11 Pro Windows 8.1 tablets. Three have 1280-by-800-pixel IPS HD displays and all have Intel processors, microSD card slots, cellular data options and front and back cameras. The Venue 11 Pro has a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel 10.8-inch screen and can be used with an optional keyboard which turns it into a convertible laptop. #dell #venue #tablet
Now that's one smart baby...monitor. The $250 Owlet Vitals Monitor fits gently on a baby's foot and monitors not only the baby's heart rate and skin temperature but also checks the oxygen level, keeps track of sleep quality and can send a rollover alert to your smartphone. The pulse oximeter uses infrared and red light to monitor heart rate and oxygen levels. The iPhone app receives data via Bluetooth from a small sensor. Photos Copyright 2013, Robert S. Anthony, Stadium Circle Features #baby
Shopping tips from people you trust? That's the point of @Luvocracy, which just released an iPhone app. Luvocracy has product collections curated by its members, of which your author is one. You can follow members who post products you like and create your own collections--kind of like Pinterest. Luvocracy members benefit when items are purchased through their collections. Many of the items seen on Paper PC Picks can be purchased through Luvocracy.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs. LG G2: Battle of Big Smartphones Comes Down to Complex vs. Convenient -- Black Enterprise -- The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which has a 5.7-inch display, a stylus and a raft of buttons and special sensors, and the LG G2, which has a 5.2-inch display and a clean, uncluttered appearance, are two great options for those looking for big smartphones. Which one might be right for you? CLICK THE PIC and a look at my piece in @Black Enterprise for a little guidance.