The iPhone changed the way we think about how mobile media devices should look, feel and perform. The design is exceptional inside and out: It's got a slick glass-and-stainless steel case and an elegant touch screen loaded with eye candy. It's an iPod and a 2-megapixel camera. Images and video clips display vertically or horizontally they reorient themselves depending on how you hold the thing. When the phone detects a wireless network within range your own home wi-fi set up or somebody else's it lets you tap once to connect, and then proceed with your Web surfing, Google mapping, emailing and other activities that can otherwise be painfully slow over AT&T's cellular network the only one, unfortunately, that carries iPhone calls.
Have you ever maxed out your digital camera's memory card midway through a vacation? The 8-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S51c point-and-shoot is tricked out with built-in wireless capability, so you can email your images or beam them directly from the camera to your Flickr account or to Nikon's own online photo bank. It's also got a 3x zoom and a roomy 3-in. LCD screen and it comes in black.
This cordless wi-fi phone comes with Skype software already built in, so you can log in to an existing account and start making cheap Internet calls immediately. If you've never used Skype before, do not fear: It takes a few moments to create a new account and you can do it right from the phone's keypad. Phone will also work at most public hotspots (including T-Mobile's) so if you have lots of friends overseas, you may not want to leave home without it.
Do you secretly covet your friend's smart phone while dismissing it as way overpriced? The new Palm Centro provides an opportunity to get all the essential smart-phone features without breaking the bank. This light and bright device supports Web surfing, emailing, instant messaging and text messaging, and sports a 1.3-megapixel camera and a touch screen that works best with a stylus. A mobile version of Google Maps comes preloaded. The qwerty keypad is seriously small, but the bubble-like tactile design of the individual keys makes them easier targets.
The CX7 records rich high-definition footage straight to a flash memory card (Sony's Memory Stick PRO Duo), so it feels light and compact in your palm, and the 2.7-in. LCD screen features touch controls for set up and playback. Should you get the shakes while shooting, the CX7 has the ability to stabilize the image (using optics, which is more effective than a digital correction) and smooth out the action. A built-in HDMI port lets you connect the camera to an HDTV and watch your home movies in all their high-def glory.
The slim and sexy P2 sounds terrific and plays a variety of music file formats: MP3, WMA and songs from subscription services like Rhapsody and Yahoo Music. The pretty 3-in. screen has touch controls for viewing photos and watching videos, which are displayed at a DVD-quality rate of 30 frames per second. The device also works with BlueTooth headsets and speakers, and soon you will be able to receive forwarded calls from a BlueTooth cell phone. (You'll have to download what's called a firmware upgrade from the Samsung website, but don't worry, it's not as difficult as it sounds.) Comes with 4 GB of memory for $200, or 8 GB for $250.
This ultra thin-and-light notebook is a dream machine for road warriors. It runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and offers 2 GB of RAM, an integrated DVD burner and graphics card and built-in wireless capability (both wi-fi and Bluetooth). The 12.1-in. widescreen LED-backlit display is super slim and displays in high-definition (1280 x 820 pixels). With the S5004 model you get a solid-state hard drive, which means no fragile spinning parts, so the machine is less likely to suffer damage if dropped or bumped. Total weight: 2.4 lbs.
WowWee's flying insect soars, dive-bombs, hovers and glides using authentic flapping-wing action, which makes it the first commercially available toy ornithopter. It's lightweight (about 1 oz.) yet sturdy, and sports a 16-in. wingspan. The two-channel radio remote lets you control wing speed and tail rotor speed and doubles as a charging base (a 20-min. recharge gives you about 6 min. of flying time). The kids will love it if you can bear to let them have it for a while.
Who knew file storage could be so chic? The 160 GB eGo has enough room to hold up to 640,000 digital photos, 2,900 hours of music or 240 hours of video (depending, of course, on the compression rate). A new dual-interface version works over USB or FireWire and comes with both types of cords. If you accidentally knock the eGo off your desk, the shock-absorbing case will protect the important documents and precious media stored inside.
Though the new "N" wi-fi standard, which carries data signals faster and farther than its predecessor "G," isn't expected to be officially ratified until next year, it's far enough along that you can buy certified N products with confidence that they will work with your computers and other hardware. Belkin's audaciously designed N1 Vision router stands vertical and reports on network activity in your house so you can see if your kid is downloading video games when he should be doing his homework. It is designed to configure itself the first time you connect it to your cable modem or DSL, and computers still using older "G" adapters will still be able to connect.
Like a video game, the Smart Cycle from Fisher-Price sends children into a make-believe world full of quirky characters, but it can't be played while sitting on the couch. Plug the tot-sized stationary bike into the TV and children can pedal themselves along, developing problem-solving skills and learning to identify numbers and letters along the way. Recommended for children ages 3 to 6; $99.99.
Like a pebble that has been rounded over the centuries by the gentle splashing of the ocean waves, Halo 3 has become the perfect hardcore first-person combat simulator. By dint of painstaking labor on the part of its developer, Bungie, it has been refined over three installments to the point where it delivers only pure, unadulterated gaming bliss. Every combat is even-sided and complex and can be waged in multiple ways, using an arsenal of long- and short-range weapons, plus grenades and hand-to-hand moves. Every level is perfectly paced and balanced and graced with soaring architectural compositions. Plus it's graphically gorgeous. The epic storyline and the stirring score don't hurt either. In one of the greatest years video gaming has ever seen, Halo 3 is the very best of the bunch.
A New iPhone
Whether it's the iPhone 3G Part II or the rumored iPhone nano, it's not hard to imagine Apple releasing another new iPhone this year, maintaining their trend of releasing an iPhone per year to stay competitive in the everchanging post-RAZR cellphone market. It's no secret that most of Gizmodo loves the iPhone, so we're pretty excited to see what's next. (Juicy rumors of a new Mac mini and iPod Touch XL are going strong, too.)
3G is alright but we're looking forward to even faster 4G wireless networks soon. Intel-backed WiMax launched in a few locales by carriers Sprint and ClearWire. The wide-area network currently promises peaks of 10 megabits per second but on paper it's capable of over 70. We will likely see slow but steady expansion of the service through 2009. Meanwhile, AT&T and Verizon (and eventually T-Mobile) are gearing up LTE technology. The Nokia-driven GSM-based "Long Term Evolution" may actually whomp WiMax with download speeds of over 300Mbpsthough its presence probably won't be felt in the US before 2010.
A Decent-Sized OLED TV
The Sony XEL-1 OLED television rocked our world when it was released this year, but there was a catch. Its screen size was a measly 11 inches. And while we can't expect 50-inch Kuro killers just yet, we do anticipate a very expensive mid-sized set27 to 32 inchesto hit the market in some form this year. (Sony actually showed off a prototype that was 27 inches at CES 2008. Stay tuned for what we see at CES this year.)
A multitude of companies have various wireless HDMI technologies, but there's no set standard (two warring factions need to settle the fight before we can have interoperable products). The technology is there, now it's just a matter of logistics and handshaking. With luck, by next Christmas, you'll be able to add it to a sub-$2000 1080p projector for the ultimate no-mess home theater.
USB 3.0 Devices
Wireless HDMI may not be quite cooked yet, but the eSATA-crushing USB 3.0 standard is ready to roll. Look for a multitude of products announced within the next week with blazing transfer speeds of 4.8Gbps (moving a 25GB file in under a minute). They'll also benefit from USB 3.0's higher electrical power output.
Since its launch on October 23rd 2001, the Apple iPod has revolutionised the way in which we listen to music on the go. Designed by Jonathan Ive at Apple, the digital media player allows users to enjoy music, videos, photos, and games on a single portable device.
Content is easily transferable to your iPod through the Apple iTunes software which is compatible with most Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems.
All Apple iPod models apart from the iPod Shuffle feature the popular touch sensitive scroll wheel in the user interface, which has seen the iPod become the most user-friendly media player currently available. It can also claim to being the best selling digital media player in history, with over 165 million iPods sold, worldwide.
To date, there have been several various iPod models - these are the Classic, Photo, Mini, Nano, Shuffle and Touch.
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Rasheed Ahmed .K