Technology Must Haves

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One book to rule them all

It took almost two years but Amazon recently announced that it will make its amazing Kindle e-book reader available to international customers. Although one could purchase the Kindle before this announcement, not all the features worked as it should outside the US. What makes the Kindle so special is that you can purchase over 230,000 books directly from Amazon without connecting your Kindle to your PC. It is able to do so thanks to the built-in 3G capabilities. What is even more impressive is that there are no data charges associated with browsing or downloading books. Apart from the massive library available at your fingertips, most books will also sell for a lot less than their paper backed counterparts. The average cost of a newly released e-book on the Kindle is around R90 and the device can store up to 1,500 books. Once you have purchased a book however you will always be able to access it online so even if you lose your Kindle, you can simply load the book back to your device when you log into your account. Battery life on the Kindle is also remarkable and you should get about a week’s worth of reading without much hassle.

$259 excluding international shipping charges at amazon.com

Digital Home Theatre
Choices are plenty when it comes to digital media players for your TV. Although most of those work well, only a few are able to live up to expectations. The Xtreamer is a slim digital media player that not only sports a 500GB internal hard drive but it also supports media streaming over a wired or wireless network connection. At first glance you would not think that this device has internal storage but the built-in 500GB hard drive offers plenty of space to store your most frequently watched digital movies, music, or photos. There are also numerous connectivity options on the Xtreamer, you can connect up to two external USB storage devices and you can connect it straight to your PC  should you wish to quickly transfer your music or movies to the Xtreamer. When it comes to output, you can use the RCA port on older TV’s and if you have an LCD or Plasma, you’ll love the addition of an HDMI port.

R1195 from xtreamsa.co.za

Protect what’s yours
Keeping your notebook bag within eye-sight is traditionally the only way to protect it from would-be thieves. Doberman Security has a great little device that will act as an alarm for your bag. You can create your own 5 digit access code to arm or disarm the alarm and once attached to your bag, the Briefcase Alarm will sound a loud 100 decibel alarm when it detects movement of the bag. This is ideal for frequent travellers or regular coffee shop visitors.

R269 from  dobermanproducts.co.za

Note taking with a twist
The recently launched Livescribe Pulse SmartPen is almost guaranteed to change the way we interact with paper altogether. In a nutshell, the Pulse Smartpen makes use of a special dot paper to record everything your write. Notebooks containing this special paper are not much more expensive than ordinary notebooks and there are a number of styles to choose from. The added functionality not only means that all your notes are stored digitally but the built-in voice recorder will allow you to record voice in-synchronisation with your notes. This will allow you to simply tap on a word in your notes to have the audio automatically playback that part of the conversation. The pen itself uses standard ink refill while the internal battery automatically charge when you place the pen on its docking tray. This is a superb tool that has to be seen in action.

From R2499 from incredible.co.za

Stargate is calling

Why settle for just another external hard drive when you can get one designed by Philippe Starck, a world-renowned designer that has worked with companies such as Microsoft in the past. Beside its drop dead gorgues looks, the LaCie Starck Desktop hard drive also offers a unique feature, a touch sensitive surface which you can program to liking. One tap could launch one application while a longer touch would launch another. This external hard drive is available in two flavours, 1TB and 2TB storage capacity. Considering its design and unique features, this hard drive would be perfectly suited for the design conscious PC user or Mac savvy designer.

R2,716 for the 2TB version from directservices.co.za

 

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