Technology

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The Perfect Storm
Although the first Blackberry Storm was a step in the right direction, it was not the phone that we all hoped it would be. Just over a year later, and it seems that Blackberry now has the winning formula in the Blackberry Storm 2. The phone features a 3.25-inch LCD and is exactly the same size as its predecessor. At 160grams it’s not particularly light, so keep that in mind – some people won’t like the heavy feel of this device. One of the features that makes the Storm brand so unique is the way in which you interact with the touch-sensitive LCD. Unlike other touch devices, this one offers real tactile feedback.

Thanks to Blackberry’s proprietary technology, SurePress, the screen actually mimics the feel of pressing down on a button. It does not use vibration motors – instead, the screen is actually pressable. Looking at some of its other features, the Storm 2 includes everything one could possibly want in a smartphone. There is a 3.2 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and Blackberry Maps, as well as a 2GB memory card. The operating system is equally impressive and current Blackberry users will love the tweaks and enhancements. If this is your first Blackberry device, the transition will be painless. There is a very short learning curve – the operating system is very easy to navigate and configure. Naturally, all the benefits of owning a Blackberry are bundled with this device: this includes an impressive unlimited data bundle when you sign up with your service provider.
Price to be announced from MTN or Vodacom

Chasing the Storm
Blackberry also recently announced the availability of its new, hands-free device, the BlackBerry Visor Mount Speakerphone VM-605. Not only does this speakerphone feature a beautiful curved design, but it was designed to use your car radio for hands-free audio playback. It does so by tuning into an unused frequency on your car radio and using the built-in microphone on the device to transmit your voice. As its name implies, the Visor Mount neatly clips onto your visor, and it can even be used to broadcast music from your phone to your car radio. Impressively, the Blackberry Visor Speaker Mount also works with the voice navigation on your Blackberry phone, ensuring that you can keep your eyes on the road while your phone does all the work.
Around R800 from your nearest cellular store

Hidden Treasures
The Canon IXUS range of cameras recently saw a couple of new additions added to the family. One of these, the IXUS 130, is the thinnest camera in the range to date. At a mere 17.8mm thick, the IXUS 130 boasts an impressive array of features, including a 14.1 megapixel image sensor and a 28mm wide-angle lens capable of 4x optical zoom. This camera also sports other useful features such as the Smart Shutter.

This feature will allow you to remotely trigger your camera by simply winking or smiling. You can even set it to take a photo as soon as another face enters the frame. The IXUS 130 is available in a range of colours and it can take HD video shots with ease. If you are looking for a great, all-round, compact camera to take photos of family, friends, or your weekend outings, look no further.

Price TBA from your local camera store

Worthy Successor
Following in the footsteps of the immensely popular Nokia E71 comes a phone that was streamlined to do a great job so much better. The Nokia E72 looks similar to its predecessor, but when holding it for the first time, you realise how much has been improved. Part of the overhaul is thanks to a research paper that Nokia released, which focuses on the number of people who prefer to communicate via e-mail rather than make voice calls.

The Nokia E72 was designed with that kind of user in mind, and it has been streamlined to allow making e-mail communication a breeze. The Nokia sports a full QWERTY keyboard and adds important new functionality such as desktop-like e-mail and chat experiences. Moreover, this phone also features the latest version of Ovi Maps with A-GPS navigation, compass, an optical navigation key, and a 5 megapixel camera. The Nokia E72 also comes with Nokia’s push consumer e-mail service, Nokia Messaging, and you can set up instant messaging directly from the home screen, accessing communities such as Windows LiveMessenger, Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk and Ovi Chat easily. If you were a fan of the E71, or you are looking for a work horse when you are away from your PC, this is it.

R5999 from your nearest cellular store

Storage with a twist
External storage has become a part of life. It’s not longer a question of do you need external storage but, rather, what type of external hard drive will you invest in.  Verbatim has been a pioneer in the optical storage industry for years and their expansion into disk-based storage devices is yielding some interesting results. One of their latest devices is the InSight 500GB portable hard drive. Measuring a mere 153 mm x 87 mm x 16 mm, this hard drive makes use of USB 2.0 to connect to your computer. The sleek design not only looks great in its black finish but, impressively, the LCD on the front of the device displays the remaining storage capacity on the drive without the need to be connected to power. The 21 x 128 pixel display is based on a cholesteric liquid crystal display (ChLCD), which allows information to be displayed even without an external source of power. This is a great feature and you can even customise the display name to help you distinguish drives if you have more than one.

R1500 from your local computer store

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