Paper PC Picks - Best in Tech
Cool tech products spotted at press conferences and product showcases by noted tech journalist Robert S. Anthony, editor, Stadium Circle Features. Instagram…
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The new Black+Decker Kitchen Wand takes up very little space but performs many tasks usually handled by larger devices. The variable-speed, cordless motor unit has a built-in rechargeable battery and can accept a variety of attachments, including a milk frother, can opener, salt-and-pepper grinder, wine opener, whisk and immersion blender. The @blackanddecker Kitchen Wand ($200 with six attachments: $130 with three; $99 with one) comes in red, black or gray and will reach stores in July. #Pepcom
Valentine's Day might be the perfect time to put a ring on it—on your own finger—if you want to monitor your health with one of the new sensor-laden #smartrings from Circular, Movano and Ōura. All are lightweight, connect wirelessly with free mobile apps and do a heartwarming job of masquerading as no-tech jewelry. CLICK THE LINK to read more in my weekly #TechTip in Sree’s Sunday Note.
The Sony Xperia PRO-I Android 5G smartphone is a pro-grade still/video camera that also makes calls. It has a dedicated shutter button, a big, camera-size Exmor image sensor; three dual-aperture (F2.0/F4.0) cameras, Zeiss Tessar optics and phase-detection and eye-tracking autofocus. The @sonyelectronics unit can take 4K videos at 120fps, has a 6.5-inch 4K HDR 120Hz OLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage and an $1,800 price tag. CLICK THE LINK for more.
The new @microsoft Surface Pro 8 convertible offers 40% more processing muscle and 74% faster graphics than the Surface Pro 7. It has a quad-core Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, a 13-inch, 120Hz screen and up to 1TB of storage and 32GB of RAM. Two Thunderbolt 4 ports provide fast data and video connectivity. The Surface Slim Pen 2 ($130) provides tactile feedback and stores and charges in the #Surface Pro Signature Keyboard ($200). Starts at $1,099. Preorder now; ships 10/5 (same as Windows 11).
LG’s exit from the smartphone market leaves behind a legacy of cool, clever devices—which apparently didn’t sell. From the swiveling, dual-screen LG Wing to the snap-on second display of the LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen, LG’s lineup often included innovative units which set themselves apart. Others have caught up, but LG was one of the first to add telephoto and wide-angle lenses to smartphone cameras. LG’s departure should be good news for sales stragglers like Sony and challengers like OnePlus.
The OnePlus 9 5G and OnePlus 9 Pro 5G offer sharp, big screens, powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processors and Hasselblad-designed cameras that hold up well against Samsung and Apple smartphones. The One Plus 9 5G has a flat 6.55-inch display while the curved 6.7-inch screen on the OnePlus 9 Pro 5G has game-friendly tech that adjusts its refresh rate from 1Hz-120Hz. Both offer OxygenOS, OnePlus’s enhanced version of Android 11. CLICK THE PIC to read more in Sree’s Sunday Note. @oneplusmobile
Simple health tech like the MaskFone by Binatone, a face mask with built-in wireless earbuds and a microphone, and Omron Healthcare's VitalSight, an easy-to-use remote patient monitoring system that sends blood pressure data to doctors in real time, are making pandemic life a little easier. Both were featured at the recent virtual CES consumer electronics showcase. More in my weekly Tech Tip in former NYC Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan’s popular Sunday Note. CLICK THE PIC to read.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go fits in with the era of Zoom and social distancing. Its Intel Core i5 processor is enough for work/school tasks like web browsing, word processing and e-mail and its 12.4-inch, 1,536-by-1,024-pixel touchscreen, 720p video camera, dual microphones and Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 support can handle videoconferencing—but not gaming. The slim, 2.45-lb. unit comes with Windows 10 S (switchable to Windows 10 Pro) and USB-A and USB-C ports. Starts at $550. CLICK THE PIC.
The Apple iPhone 12 mini packs a lot of cyber muscle into a tight package at a rather moderate price—for an iPhone. It has the same powerful A14 Bionic processor, 12MP wide and ultrawide rear cameras and selfie camera, 4K video capability, 5G data compatibility and other key features as the larger iPhone 12. You’ll just have to preview your nifty photos and snazzy videos on a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display instead the 6.1-inch screen on the iPhone 12. Starts at $699; preorders Nov. 6.
The credit-card-size Lume Cube Panel Mini looks like a generic LED light panel, but is actually a sophisticated, moderately powerful lighting unit for photos and Zoom videos. Brightness of the rechargeable, 60-LED unit adjusts from 1% to 100% and color temperature can be set from 3200K (tungsten lightbulb) to 5600K (daylight). The $60 Panel Mini has two tripod sockets and an LCD readout and comes with a camera shoe adapter and a diffuser. CLICK THE PIC for more. #LumeCube #LitByLume @LumeCube2
The double-jointed Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel laptop lets artists and other creatives adjust its display to a wide range of positions. The 14- or 15.6-inch, 1,920-by-1,080-pixel touchscreen supports the full range of Pantone colors and works with the optional Acer Active Stylus, which supports 4,096 levels of pressure. The ConceptD 3 Ezel starts at $1,500 and comes with a white metal chassis, an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU and up to 16GB of memory. CLICK THE PIC. @Intel @AcerAmerica
Amazon Fire HD 8 & Fire HD 8 Plus: Amazon’s new Fire tablets have more processor muscle and storage than older units but have the same size and screen resolution. Both have 8-inch, 1,280-by-800 dpi displays, 2GHz quad-core processors, 2MP front/back cameras capable of 720p video, 12-hour batteries and USB-C charging/data ports. The Fire HD 8 (32GB storage $89.99; 64GB $119.99) has 2GB of RAM; the Fire HD 8 Plus (32GB $109.99; 64GB $139.99) adds wireless charging and has 3GB of RAM. CLICK THE PIC
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, the company’s second smartphone with a folding screen, promises a shirt-pocket size (and expensive!) leap in mobile display technology. The #Galaxy Z #Flip’s footprint is 2.9 by 3.4 inches folded but opens up to show a seamless 6.7-inch screen that can be used alone or as two stacked, independent displays. The $1,380 unit has the Android 10 OS, a 1.1-inch notification screen on the outside, 10/12 MP front/rear cameras and takes 4K video. On sale 2/14/20. CLICK THE PIC.
Facebook took over a New York townhouse to show off how the new generation of Facebook Portal video calling devices can connect users to their families, work, music, remote cooking classes and other online services. The 8-inch Portal Mini ($129) and 10-inch Portal ($179) desktop screens and $149 Portal TV camera can call Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp users and offer a web browser and handful of apps. CLICK THE PIC for more info.
Anker Technology’s colorful new mobile device chargers don’t just look good; some also have the tactile feel of fabric. PowerCore power banks and PowerWave wireless chargers now come in colors like indigo, white, green, rose and coral; a selection which lets users select “gear that matches their personal aesthetic,” said Anker CEO Steven Yang at a New York press event. You’ll have to wait until January for some colors, but all can be preordered now. CLICK THE PIC. #AnkerOnBoard #UseAnkerInstead
Microsoft’s new twin-screened Surface Neo laptop/tablet and pocket-sized Surface Duo have lots in common—including one-year waits before you can buy them. The Surface Neo’s 9-inch displays and Surface Duo’s 5.6-inch screens can be used alone or combined into divided 13- and 8.3-inch touchscreens respectively. The Windows 10X-based Surface Neo works with Surface Pen styli and a nifty flip-over keyboard while the Surface Duo can make calls and runs Android (no, not Windows Mobile). #MicrosoftEvent
The new PuroGamer volume-limited headphones by Puro Sound Labs lets archrivals trash talk with full clarity while protecting their eardrums. The $80 unit limits volume to the 85dB maximum suggested by federal standards, but Puro’s audio technology and the unit’s boom mic, 50mm graphene drivers and noise-isolating ear cushions maintain studio-grade music and voice fidelity at all volumes, said a @purosound representative at the #Pepcom Holiday Spectacular press-only product preview. CLICK the PIC
To unplug or not to unplug? The Caribbean Princess cruise ship gives geeks and Luddites the choice thanks to its new high-tech, but optional MedallionClass services, said John Padgett, Carnival Corp. chief experience and innovation officer. Travelers receive tiny, wearable electronic ID medallions which serve as cabin keys and personal locators. When guests order food or drinks with a mobile app or at a kiosk, the OceanMedallion allows servers to find them if they walk around. @carnivalcruise
The handsome Marquetry Edition wireless chargers from Native Union do a good job of standing out from their competition by blending in with home and office decor. The upright Dock ($120) has two charging coils, allowing users to charge phones in portrait or landscape orientation, while the single-coil Drop ($70) lies flat. Both are clad in three pieces of black or rose leather and both offer up to 10 watts of Qi-standard charging. CLICK THE PIC for more information. @nativeunion
The Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ push the muscle-phone envelope closer to the breaking point with impressive new pro-grade video, photo, 3D capture and augmented reality capabilities. The 6.3-inch Note 10 (from $949 w/LTE or $1,049 w/5G) and 6.8-inch Note10+ ($1,099/$1,299 ) have an updated S-Pen smart stylus which can take photos, control camera settings and float through games with hand gestures. Even Harry Potter’s wand is supported. On sale Aug. 23. #GalaxyNote10 #SamsungEvent #Unpacked
The Como Audio SpeakEasy Stereo System combines Google Assistant voice tech and Bluetooth with vintage tech: audio wire. The “world's first voice-activated smart speaker system in real two-channel stereo" combines the SpeakEasy voice-controllable Internet radio with the wired SpeakEasy Speaker. Wiring the speakers results in truer stereo and one less wireless device on a network, said CEO Tom DeVesto. The $399 system is now $249 (or $499 with @comoaudio Turntable) on Indiegogo. CLICK THE PIC.
Wait... Reasonably priced smartphones with built-in glasses-free 3D? Yes, real 3D. The ROKiT IO PRO 3D ($300) and IO 3D ($200), launched at a Los Angeles press event, come with the growing ROKFLiX 3D movie library plus something unique in affordable smartphones: Low-cost health, legal, roadside assistance and other life services. Oh, and they’re pretty good dual-SIM, unlocked #Android 8.1 phones, too. Sold at Walmart and rokit.com. CLICK THE PIC for more info. #NowYourPhoneCan #3D @walmart