Here They Come
Will Wiriawan, WEEKENDER | Tue, 01/11/2011 3:19 PM |
These fresh tools can help you keep those New Year resolutions
From Work to Play with RIM
The folks at BlackBerry weren’t convinced the iPad was good idea. A couple of million sales and a new market later, the Canadian-based RIM changed its mind and set out to convince potential tablet customers that they, too, can make something fun. And so the PlayBook was born, built from scratch on an entirely new Adobe Air-based platform. According to Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of Research In Motion, “This is an ultramobile, always-on, ultrathin device.” This always-on BlackBerry tablet uses not an always-on 3G connection but Wi-Fi – you pair it with your existing BlackBerry smartphone for 3G Internet access. The device measures 20 10 cm with a 7-inch screen and weighs 500 g. It’s scheduled to launch early this year under the US$500 mark. (BlackBerry not included).
The world’s thinnest iPad stand … that you could make yourself
A brilliant solution to a not-so-obvious problem – a pocket-sized iPad stand that works! The iBend XL folds to a curve that will hold your iPad at a comfortable viewing angle when you’re on the go. At a mere US$10, this is probably the thinnest and cheapest iPad stand money can buy, but since it’s made from a laminated paper cutout, you could probably make one at home for next to nothing.
FlightBoard: Get airport displays on the fly
Inspired by Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, a small team of iPhone developers has turned publicly available airport arrivals and departures information across the world into this beautiful app for your iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad – and it works! It even has the gate number for major airports, which on one trip notified me of a change in my flight’s gate before the airport announced it. Get it from iTunes for US$4. Also available from the same company is FlightTrack (from $5): It fetches your itinerary, syncs it via TripIt and sends you reminders of your flights.
Dial a number, press the green button and you make a phone call. Press the red button and you end the phone call. Clever, huh? Yes, in this age of super-capable phones, this über-simple device makes phone calls and nothing more (although it does have speed dial and you can change the volume). The numbers and the buttons are large (ideal for those with failing eyes and clumsy fingers), and it has a physical address book and an actual pen tucked into the back. This phone will run for three weeks on standby before you need to recharge. So John is serious when he says this is not a smartphone. Available for €70–80.
Fuji returns with the X100
Leica has long dominated the world of high-end, hand-crafted quality cameras, but this reign could come to an end with the unveiling of the Fujifilm FinePix X100, a large-sensor, compact ranger-finder camera. With the price expected to be somewhere in the US$1,000–1,500 range, this camera will definitely challenge the Leica X1, and is probably the most exciting new camera product coming out of Japan this year.