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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


Paper PC Picks - Best in Tech

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View-Master Renewed: Google and Mattel have put a new virtual spin on the legendary View-Master stereo image viewer. Instead of cardboard wheels with stereo images, Google’s Cardboard technology, with a little help from an Android (of course!) smartphone and app, will allow users of Mattel’s new View-Master to experience 360-degree “photospheres” of famous places. The $30 unit, available this fall, was unveiled at the Toy Industry Association's 2015 Toy Fair in New York. #TFNY

Hewlett Packard rolled out two new business-class Android tablets: the HP Pro Slate 12 ($569) and 8-inch Pro Slate 8 ($449), both of which come with the HP Duet Pen, a nifty electronic stylus that works with ultrasonic audio technology. Not only can the pen, developed with Qualcomm, write on the screen, but it can also write on paper and still have the virtual ink appear on the screen. For more on the new Hewlett-Packard tablets, see my piece in the New York Daily News.

HP's new tablets, stylus target pro, student customers

nydailynews.com

Babies and toddlers were big winners at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas. There was no shortage of new tech for the little ones--and their parents, including the Pacif-i Bluetooth-connected pacifier from Blue Maestro. See my piece in the New York Daily News. #CES2015

2015 CES has gadgets for everyone — including babies

nydailynews.com

A two-faced phone? Yes indeed! From the front the YotaPhone 2 is a conventional Android smartphone with a 5-inch color display. Flip it around and there's a 4.7-inch E Ink monochrome screen as well. The extra screen uses same low-power tech found in e-readers, which means the Russian-made unit can run six days on a charge or provide 100 hours of reading time. The extra display can be viewed in bright sunlight, has its own apps but can also run Android apps in a low-power mode. #CES2015

Wondering what's going on at the 2015 International CES in Las Vegas? Take a look at my preview in today's New York Daily News. One nifty new PC it the HP Sprout from Hewlett-Packard, which has a clever scanning device above its 23-inch display which lets you scan objects and then edit the new image on the desktop with your hands using its special touchpad. #CES2015

CES 2015: Smartwatches, virtual reality, high-tech stove

nydailynews.com

If you like your concert seats up close and cozy, but not necessarily loud, the $25 DUBS Acoustic Filters by Doppler Labs could come in handy if you end up in front of the speakers. The tiny DUBS units, which fit in the ears like earbud headsets, use a mechanical process called dynamic attenuation to reduce volume without muddling the clarity of what you’re listening to. Thus Norah Jones or Rickie Lee Jones would still sound like themselves, not like James Earl Jones. #PaperPCHolidayPicks

The $150 Altec Lansing Life Jacket portable Bluetooth speaker is built to resist both bad weather and klutzes. The waterproof and shock-resistant Life Jacket will actually float—and keep playing—if it somehow ends up in the pool. The unit has two 2.5-inch Neodymium drivers, a 16-hour rechargeable battery and a microphone, which makes it useful as a portable speakerphone when it’s not blasting tunes. #PaperPCHolidayPicks

The $25 Satechi Spectrum Mouse may not outshine other PC rodents in terms of features, but it sure does in terms of glitz. In addition to its shiny metallic finish, the Spectrum Mouse has a backlight which cycles through seven colors (white, red, green, blue, yellow, violet and turquoise) or can be set to stay at just one. The Mac- and Windows-compatible wired mouse has a resolution of 1,000 dpi, which makes for accurate cursor placement. #PaperPCHolidayPicks

The $199 HP Stream 11 Windows 8.1 laptop is a good choice for those tired of waiting for a turn at a public library PC. With an 11.6-inch display and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters, you can get online easily. It comes with a year of Microsoft 365 Office software access and 1TB of cloud storage. It has an adequate, but not potent Intel Celeron N2840 processor and 32GB of internal storage, which means it’s not the right unit for demanding tasks like video editing. #PaperPCHolidayPicks

Apple finally joins the big-phone party with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. To sweeten the pot, Apple also rolls out its Apple Watch smartwatches. CLICK THE PIC to read my coverage in the New York Daily News #iPhone6 #AppleWatch

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The Samsung Mobile US Galaxy Note Edge offers an innovative new feature: a display that wraps around its right edge that acts sort of like a Times Square news 'zipper' even when the device is closed. CLICK THE PIC to read my story in the New York Daily News. #TheNextBigThing

Sharp AQUOS Crystal: A high-end Android smartphone at low-end pricing? That’s what Sprint hopes to offer with the new Sharp AQUOS unit, which has a bright 5-inch display, a front-facing 1.2MP camera set on the bottom instead of the top and an extra mic on the back to help it detect and cancel out unwanted noises. The unit will be $10 a month with a Sprint service plan or $150 with Virgin Mobile USA or Boost Mobile prepaid service. For more, read the Aug. 23 edition of the New York Daily News.

World’s first levitating Bluetooth speaker? That’s what the OM/ONE hopes to be with a little help from some crowdfunding. The baseball-size wireless speaker from Om Audio LLC magnetically floats an inch above its base. The 1.3-pound orb ($179 for early backers) has a 75mm driver, a microphone, a 15-hour battery and can be used as a speakerphone. The OM/ONE can also be used as a portable speaker without the base and two units can be paired into a stereo speaker system.

There are many ways to miss a flight, but a dead cell phone shouldn't be one of them. Unfortunately, new TSA security regulations for some foreign airports require that cell phones and other electronic devices be turned on while going through security. The solution? Travel with an external battery–one that connects with your phone or tablet via a standard USB cable. CLICK THE PIC to read more at The Paper PC.

The JunoJUMPR power brick from @JunoPower is no larger than a smartphone, but has enough muscle to start a car. The $100 unit packs a 6,000mAh lithium polymer battery into a seven-ounce package which can deliver a peak output of 12 volts at 300 amps. That’s enough to wake up four- and six-cylinder cars, but not V8s or trucks. The JunoJUMPR can also charge smartphones or tablets via a less potent 2.1-amp USB port. Seen at Max Borges Agency Holiday Tech Showcase in NYC. #MBATechTheHalls

The bem wireless Speaker Band lets you channel your inner Dick Tracy and answer phone calls from your wrist or simply stream music. The $50 unit, which can call out the Caller ID of an incoming call, links wirelessly to most Bluetooth-enabled smartphones or tablets. The Speaker Band, available in black, white, red, green, gray or light blue, has a six-hour battery which charges via a micro USB port. Seen at Max Borges Agency Holiday Tech Showcase for the media in New York. #MBATechTheHalls

The winner and new tablet champion: The Samsung Galaxy Tab S? It’s definitely a contender with its Super AMOLED display—the first for a consumer tablet. Unlike an LCD pixel, which creates colors by filtering light from a white backlight, AMOLED pixels emit light themselves, thus allowing for richer colors. The Samsung Mobile US Galaxy Tab S is thinner than an Apple iPad Air and its 2,560-by-1,600-pixel display is also sharper. The new 8.4- ($400) and 10.5-inch ($500) units can be preordered now.

Vizio’s new M-Series of premium Smart LCD HDTVs feature Wi-Fi, apps and full-array LED rear backlighting, which illuminates the screen more evenly than edge lighting. The VIZIO TVs can selectively dim any of 36 backlighting zones to improve contrast and black levels. Combined with Active Pixel Tuning, which can increase the brightness of individual pixels, the Vizio units can render shadow detail and color better than older models. Units range from 32 ($330) to 80 ($3,200) inches.

Psst! Want a Samsung NX30 SMART Camera? Well you're too late to come to Times Square, where Samsung Camera let the first 250 in line at its June 4 Ditch the DSLR event trade in their qualifying DSLRs for a new NX30. The lightweight 20.3 megapixel camera has shutter speeds down to 1/8000 second, a bright, swiveling touchscreen and a tilting viewfinder. It can zap your photos to your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi or with one tap via NFC (near field communication). $1,000 #DITCHtheDSLR #NYC

Is that a Wocket in your pocket? The Wocket electronic wallet lets you save all of your credit and debit cards in the unit’s encrypted memory and use a single reprogrammable card to replace them all. Select a card on the unit’s screen and it programs the data onto the card. The electronic card, which can be used like any conventional card, has an LED which displays the last four digits of the selected card and is erased shortly after use. The $150 Wocket can be preordered now.

Two plus four equals LG G3. The LG G3 Android smartphone has an ultra-sharp 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display with four times the pixels (538 ppi) than an HD screen plus two LED flash guns for its 13MP camera. The LG USA G3 has no side buttons—just a multifunction button on the rear—and a laser focusing system that snaps images into focus in less time than it takes your eye to blink. The unit, unveiled today (May 27) also has a tap-to-unlock feature, a kill switch and can be charged wirelessly.

It’s a trap! Activision’s new Skylanders Trap Team lets players capture villain characters and turn them—with all malevolent powers intact—into playable good guys. Skylanders video games use real toy characters which get absorbed into the game when placed on an electronic pad. Villains are trapped in “Traptanium” crystals which can be removed until needed. Trap Team (order now, ready Oct. 5) supports Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One and Nintendo’s PlayStation 3, 4, Wii, Wii U and 3DS.

Electric "antique" cars for NYC’s Central Park? Hold your horses! But that's what NYCLASS hopes the city will do as it showed off a prototype eight-passenger electric “horseless carriage” at the New York International Auto Show. NYCLASS hopes the car, built by Dania, Florida-based The Creative Workshop, will replace the city’s horse-drawn carriages. It resembles an early-1900s-era Cadillac, but runs on lithium iron phosphate batteries. Its 84-*ahem*-horsepower engine last six hours. New York International Auto Show

HTC stirred up the smartphone wars Tuesday with the launch of the metal-bodied HTC One M8 in New York. The unit has a 5-inch, 1,080p display, a micro SD memory card slot and two potent front stereo speakers. One of two rear cameras tracks depth, which lets you create images where one element is sharper than the rest. The clever HTC Mobile Dot View case lets you see incoming calls and other notifications without opening it. The HTC One M8 ($200 with plan) is on sale now from multiple carriers.

HTC One M8 by HTC

luvocracy.com

Samsung used the curvy confines of New York’s Guggenheim Museum to launch its new curved UHD (ultra-high definition) TVs. The 55-inch ($4,000) and 65-inch ($5,000) Samsung HU9000 series curved UHDTVs go on sale this month while an $8,000 78-inch model will debut in May. A yet-unpriced 105-inch curved UHD TV is planned for later this year. All of the curved UHD TVs can upscale old videos into the sharper UHD format and all have smartphone-like quad-core processors for the many apps they can run.