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Monthly Archives: January 2005

m:robe 500, cute little PMP

m:robe 500So, the way I see this, everyone and the mailman is trying to sell me a Portable Media Player. The choices are vast, and the feature combinations, endless. That being said, this little one does seem kind of cute. Be forewarned though, I know next to nothing about these toys.

Now, the m:robe 500 isn’t exactly a PMP. It doesn’t play video. What it is exactly though, isn’t clear. It’s either a digital camera that plays mp3s. Or, it’s an mp3 player that takes pictures. Seeing as the picture quality tops out at 1.3MP, maybe we should see it as the latter. The nice thing is, it comes with a touch-sensitive 3.7inch LCD display.

It weighs in at 7.4 ounces (210g). Not featherlight, but not heavy either, only an ounce heavier than an iPod Photo. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it comes with 20GB of storage.

So, um… in other words, for the same price as an iPod Photo, you get half the storage… and twice the screen size. Except the iPod doesn’t actually take the pictures. But, and this is a big but… It’s not an iPod. Hmmm, now tell me, why am I evaluating everything in relation to the iPod?

Good work, Mr.Jobs, you’ve iPodified me.

Visit the product page.

Lenmar Mach 1 Fusion SpeedCharge… supercharger supername

SpeedChargerSo let’s see…. How many battery dependant something or others do I own? Remote controls (one for the TV, the DVD, the satellite), digital camera, camcorder, waterproof shower radio… Man! The battery business is a good one to be in. With so many batteries around, it would stand to reason that you’d want to get some of the rechargeable kind. Enter the Mach1 Fusion.

This little beast charges just about anything. And faster. It has patented NeoTherm2™ technology (I love those cockamamie names) that allows it to monitor and condition the battery as it charges, never allowing it to overheat and supposedly extending battery life up to five times.

It’ll take pretty much anything rated between 3.6V-7.4V. It comes with three adapter plates (for Canon and Sony digital cameras and camcorders). More plates are available for a wide range of devices for about 5.95$ MSRP. The charger itself should retail at about 99.95$.

Visit their website.

Rotundus, roving robot patrol

Rotundus roving robotThis one comes from Sweeden, where newly formed company Rotundus has an interesting prototype of a ball-shaped roving robot. Originally desgined with planet (as in, not ours) exploration in mind, there are plans now to market the robot for security purposes.

The final version will boast internal GPS, wide angle cameras transmitting footage back to a controller and maybe even radar so it can detect obstacles autonomously. Apparently, the spherical design makes it more robust than other robots and less prone to get stuck in corners.

There are serious problems though, such as not being able to handle stairs. Maybe then, it’s destined to roam around outside your property, making funny swirly tracks in the snow…

Then again, I can’t imagine that it does anything more than what you could do by attaching a camera to your dog’s head. And that, you could manage for probably much less.

Read the article.

Quattro: Orientation sensitive alarm clock

Quattro clockSo this is a really special one. It’s really just a clock, but one that breaks out of the mold and goes where no clock has gone before.

First of all, without power, it’s just an off-white plastic box, with no buttons, no markings, nothing. Then, when in use, it senses it’s orientation and changes function accordingly. In other words, if it’s on its side, it’s a radio. Tilt it up, it becomes an alarm. Horizontally, it’s a clock. With each change, the display (that shines through the plastic) also changes to adapt to it’s current funtion. It senses when you’re getting near and will light up its touch-sensitive buttons so you can set it.

The icing on the cake though, is the snooze function. It’s remote controlled. And the remote… is a teddy bear. Squeeze the teddy, and back to sleep you go.

Is it cool? You betcha.

Can you buy it?… probably not.

Check out the maker’s website.

LaCie DVD burner: away with labels

LaCie Lightscribe DVDThis is probably old news. But it’s news to me. If you’re one of those that likes to make neat CDs, or DVDs, with labels and all, your life just got easier. An outfit called Lightscribe is licencing technology to hardware companies (such as LaCie, HP, and others) that allows you to burn your labels directly to your DVD. No need for sticky labels, or even fancy label printers.

You have to buy some special DVDs with the backside coated with a chemical that colors when the laser hits it. Then basically, you burn, flip… and burn some more.

Pretty cool.

Check out LightScribe’s website.

iBOM IM-100, displayless squareness

iBOM IM-100Oh Apple, Apple!… What are you going to make us do next? You jettison the display on one of your products, and what happens next? Everyone drops them. Well, at least two that I know of: Hello Kitty’s and now Indi-Tech’s iBOM IM-100.

It’s not a remarkable player. It’s not even that pretty, though I do like the silver and black. It’s got a puny 128MB or 256MB with a li-polymer battery. But… it is small. And if small is now big, then hey!, who am I to judge?

Get the Korean (I think…) experience at Indi-Tech’s website.

Samsung’s 102 inch plasma screen

Samsung 102 inch plasma
Plasma, plasma on the wall, who’s the biggest, of them all? Well, Samsung’s 102 inch CES showroom mammoth monster screen is who.

Add three zeros to the screen size, and that’s how much I bet it costs. In dollars.

Via ShinyPlastic.

Citiwide Technologies’ MP4-010: swappable hard drives

PMP MP4-010PMP MP4-010DAPreview has an interesting post on a product from Hong Kong company Citiwide Technologies. It’s a Portable Media Player with swappable drives: the MP4-010. I say: it’s about darn time!

Why? Well, think about it for a second. Most PMPs these days come with one hard drive, and that’s all you’ll ever get. Say you get one with 20Gb storage. How many movies does that fit? With a full 4Gb DVD? Maybe 5, more likely, 4. With DivX? Twenty something. So after a while, you’re going to have to start rotating your movies. Wouldn’t it be better then, to simply have multiple hard drives, and rotate them instead? Storage space is at an all time low, so you could just plop down 150$ for 120Gb drive and carry your entire movie library around with you.

Check out DAPreview’s article.

LG F9100, qwerty goodness

LG F9100I’m a big fan of SMS. I’m in the middle of something, cant make a call, but need to get in touch now: SMS. Of course, the annoyance, is the way you have to enter your text. I never gave T9 predictive text input a chance, it drove me nuts. I always craved qwerty keyboards, but they only came in bigger, more ungainly phones, like the Sidekick.

Well, Cingular is now carrying the F9100 from LG. It seems kind of nice, with a slide-out keyboard. It’s 150$. It’s not completely ugly. The niceness of it stops there though. It’s plumpudding bland featurewise.

However, as Cingular prominently displays on their product page, this very phone was featured in Americal Idol! Well, ladies and gents… That and the keyboard? Give me half a dozen!

Visit Cingular’s website and navigate to the phone.