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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Breville Lift-And-Look Toaster

Breville Lift-and-Look Toaster (Image courtesy The Green Head) By Andrew Liszewski

I’ve used a lot of toasters in my time and no matter how expensive or high-tech they appear to be I’ve never found one that is capable of perfectly toasting a piece of bread to my liking. Of course part of the problem is the fact that ‘my liking’ doesn’t necessarily match everyone else’s so designing a toaster that will please everyone could actually be impossible.

However, Breville has come pretty close with their new ‘Lift-and-Look’ ikon model. Even with a window-equipped toaster it’s nearly impossible to tell how toasted a piece of bread is while it’s inside so the ikon allows you to pop it up to check without interrupting or stopping the heating cycle. Finally! Other nice features of the ikon include an illuminated LCD display for dialing in the browning setting that also provides an actual countdown indicator of when the toast will be ready. It also has a special bagel setting that will cause the inside elements to toast faster than the outside ones for perfect results.

If you’re the type who enjoys a toasted bagel every morning then the $79.99 price tag of the ikon Lift-and-Look probably seems not too bad. However if you’re like the rest of us and can only muster enough energy to eat breakfast on the weekends it might seem a bit pricey.

[ Breville Lift-and-Look Toaster ] VIA [ The Green Head ]

Snapalarm Smoke Detector

Snapalarm Smoke Detector (Image courtesy OG Invent)
By Andrew Liszewski

While the Snapalarm doesn’t improve on the functionality of smoke detectors in any way it does improve on the form. Normally to install a smoke detector anywhere in your home you need to first drill a hole into the wall or ceiling and then attach the unit with a couple of screws. As a result most people only have a single smoke detector installed in their home which can be kind of dangerous depending on how big your place is and where the device is installed.

The Snapalarm is designed to be far easier to install than a standard smoke detector. The device opens like a clamshell allowing it to be fastened to the cord or chain of a hanging pendant lamp which is ideal given the proximity of these lights to the ceiling. And as an added safety feature the halves of the alarm can’t be closed if a working battery has not been installed.

The Snapalarm is currently available for about $50 which is not the cheapest smoke detector you can buy, but definitely not the most expensive either.

[ Snapalarm Smoke Detector ] VIA [ Cribcandy ]

Toshiba B-SX8R Rewritable Printer

Toshiba B-SX8R Printer (Image courtesy Gizmowatch) By Andrew Liszewski

It has been suggested that one day e-ink will take over the world but at the moment it’s pretty clear that regular paper is still gonna be with us for a while. Toshiba has clearly accepted this fact and now have a unique printer that uses special rewritable stock to help reduce paper consumption in large companies.

The paper itself is sort of a plastic-like material not unlike what is used for the labels on soft drink bottles and like old-style fax paper it has thermal printing properties. Exposure to temperatures above 180 degrees will turn the page black while temperatures between 130 and 160 degrees will cause the pigments to turn white essentially erasing the page.

Of course this technology doesn’t come cheap. The B-SX8R printer currently sells for about $10,000 in Japan and the paper stock runs about $10 per page. Considering the special paper is only good for about 500 impressions it’s still slightly more expensive than just buying a stack of regular copier paper but in the end the main goal here is to reduce waste and become less of a burden on the environment.

The Toshiba B-SX8R was made available in Japan earlier this year but North America and Europe will have to wait until 2008 for it to arrive.

[ Toshiba b-SX8R @ ZDNet UK ] VIA [ Gizmowatch ]

Tangram Bookshelf Has Limitless Morphing Possibilities

tangram lago bookshelf

By David Ponce

Oh, what a dweeby title… Anyway.

We like furniture that makes a statement. Sometimes, we’re not sure what that statement is, but that doesn’t really matter. What’s important is that visitors come away with the impression that we have some sort of taste, even if it’s the sort of taste you wouldn’t want to introduce to your parents. And falling squarely in the questionable taste department is the Lago Tangram. It’s a bookshelf made up of 7 different-sized square slices which you can arrange in any shape you want. The only limit to what it’ll end up looking like is your imagination.

Of course, at times your imagination might be better off left inside your head, rather than proudly displayed on a wall, but we certainly don’t wish to tell you how to live your life. If you think this bookshelf’s the bees knees, we can’t even tell you how much it’ll set you back, because we can’t find a price. We can tell you it’s Italian, though, and that should say plenty all on its own.

[ Lago Tangram Bookshelf ] VIA [ SciFi Tech ]

FM’s Holiday Gadget Guide, Updated Once More

sensa By David Ponce

Another week, another addition of mine to Federated Media’s Holiday Gadget Guide. This time, I decided to add my five cents to the whole iPod alternative business. Check out my post here.

There’s also a few more interesting items there that are worth checking out, like the world’s loudest iPod, by Phil Torrone from MAKEzine.

[FM’s Holiday Gadget Guide]

Vaporware Afficcionados, Meet The Optimus Keyboard. Again. Without The Color

By David Ponce

We’re not going to kid anyone. We like to toot our own horns at OhGizmo HQ. So, we’re going to point out a few things, just for the record. Not many people know this, but we here at OhGizmo got the ball rolling for the long awaited, soon-to-be vaporware awardee, uber-OLEDkeyboard of The Gods: The Optimus. After we posted about it, here, it got picked up by Gizmodo, the news exploded and then the rest is history. We always felt as if that would at least earn us a review unit, but alas it never came. Nor, mind you, do we think it ever could. See, just a few months ago, I called BS on the device (here) because not only had the unit been postponed several times, the company was releasing the Mini Three: a three-key version of the full size keyboard. We thought it pretty pointless, and a sign that ArtLebedev Studios were full of it.

Well, today we have even more confirmation that we’re all just being taken on a “send-us-your-preorder-money” ride, and we might just have been right back then. It seems that the first production run of the keyboard will feature monochrome keys! And, the full color version will allegedly come later, “for a greater price…” Please. You got nothing. You got a bunch of attention a while ago, out of the blue, and instead of fessing up and telling us you had nothing, you tried to pull a fast one on us.

[ Optimus Keyboard To Lose Color ] VIA [ Digg ]

Credit Card Battery Checker

Credit Card Battery Checker (Image courtesy ThinkGeek) By Andrew Liszewski

At what point did the credit card become the de facto standard for conveniently sized items? Will one day every single thing I own be the size of a credit card? Will the credit card itself ever shrink and become less convenient? Ah the pointless questions that keep me up all night…

Moving on, while more and more gadgets adopt convenient rechargeable batteries there are still plenty of them that still need the old-school type. Flashlights, remotes, even the 360 and Wii controllers still use AA’s so odds are you’ve got a pile of batteries somewhere at home that you’re not sure the condition of. Have they been used already? Are they completely dead? Will they still keep that remote running for another month? Well this conveniently sized battery checker from ThinkGeek will answer all these questions. It’s cleverly designed to accommodate AA, AAA, C, D, N or 9-volt batteries and uses three colored LEDs to indicate whether they’re in a good, weak or poor state. Ironically the battery checker itself requires a single CR2032 lithium battery to function but is unable to test the state of that particular format.

The credit card sized batter checker is available from ThinkGeek for a mere $8.99.

[ Credit Card Battery Checker ] VIA [ Gadgetblog ]

Tiny Tag – Mini Laser Tag

Tiny Tag (Image courtesy Perpetual Kid) By Andrew Liszewski

As someone who now works from home but once worked in an office setting I feel it’s my duty to help reduce the level of office productivity around the world by posting various gadgets that provide a great alternative to doing actual work.

Today we have Tiny Tag which is just like the Lazer Tag game from the 80’s but without the ridiculously large gun, vest and helmet which you can probably only pull off on casual Friday. Tiny Tag takes all 5-minutes of fun you can have with real Lazer Tag and stuffs it into a keychain size package. The two-inch battery powered devices can fire up to 50 feet away and when you’ve been hit will scream ‘LOSER’ so everyone in the office knows what you really are.

While Tiny Tag is available from Perpetual Kid for $11.99 I think the actual cost in terms of lost productivity in offices across the nation will be in the millions.

[ Tiny Tag @ Perpetual Kid ]

OhGizmo Review – WaterField Designs iPod Cases

WaterField Designs iPod Cases (Images courtesy WaterField Designs)
By Andrew Liszewski

Whether you’re a fan of the iPod or not, one thing you have to admit is that there are a lot of accessories available for them. In fact ‘a lot’ is a bit of an understatement given how prolific third party manufacturers have been with producing anything and everything one could ever need for their iPod and in every color under the sun. It’s probably one of the reasons a lot of people hate the iPod as finding accessories for non-Apple MP3 players is almost impossible.

So instead of fighting the current, today I’ll be ‘going with the flow’ and looking at three iPod-specific accessories from WaterField Designs. The Nano and Video cases are designed to provide a safe way to stash your iPods away when not in use while the Large Gear Pouch is a handy way to keep power adapters, USB cables, FM transmitters and whatever other accessories you feel the need to carry with you organized and easily accessible.

So if you’re a fan of the iPod but are still looking for a good way to protect your investment please read my full review of WaterField’s offerings (with many additional pics) after the jump. However if you prefer to support that up-and-coming startup known as Microsoft and their Zune player instead then you might just want to move along to our next story.

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