Category Archives: Gadget

Sony VAIO W Series Netbook

Sony finally enters the netbook market.  Surprised?  According to Sony, the VAIO P-series is not a netbook.  It’s a very portable mini computer that is powered by an Intel Atom CPU meant to surf the web.  It’s not a netbook.

Sony VAIO W Series

Anyways, the Sony VAIO W series is a netbook.  It’s has an Intel Atom N280 CPU, 10.1 inch screen, 1GB memory, 160GB Hard drive, Bluetooth, wireless N, and runs XP Home.

Sony VAIO W Series Keyboard

I’ll start with the cons.  It has the older, less capable Intel GMA 950 chipset and a battery that’s rated for 2 hours of use.  It’ll cost about $500.  I mean, for $500, I expect this netbook to last more than 2 hours.

Sony VAIO W Series

Now for the only good thing about this netbook that differientiate it from the rest.  The screen.  It’s a 10.1″ LED backlit LCD with a native resolution of 1366×768.  Most 10.1″ netbooks have a native resolution of only 1024×600.

Rhythm Heaven for the Nintendo DS

If you own a Nintendo DS and want an entertaining game, check out Rhythm Heaven DS.

rhythm_heaven_small

Sometimes I just want to play a game that doesn’t take up too much time.  Like the name suggests, you play many mini games while tapping along with the rhythm.  The characters in the game will put a smile on your face.  It may seem simple and childish at first, but it’s addictive game play will suck you in.  I highly recommend this title.  Oh, it’s also good for the whole family.

You can pick up a copy at Amazon.com for $30.

Nintendo DSI

The Nintendo DS lite is one of my favorite gadgets because it provides many hours of entertainment in a small compact device.  Games are fun and more importantly, non habit forming.

The recent release of the Nintendo DSI has me wondering if it’s worth upgrading.

Nintendo DSI

The screen is bigger, 2 cameras, and an SD card slot.

nintendo-dsi-brighter-screen

nintendo-dsi-camera

nintendo-dsi-sd-card

It has a game store similar to the Wii where you can pay to download old games.  Other than that, there isn’t anything that makes me wanting to go out and get one.

But if you’re looking for a new mobile gaming device, I highly recommend getting the Nintendo DSI.  It’s available at Amazon.com for $170.  Click Here.

What to do with old gadgets?

If you’re an early adopter, you probably have a few old gadgets around that are gathering dust.  For one thing, most old gadgets are fairly obsolete now.  Case in point, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) have been replaced by a smart phone.  Actually, a smart phone is the combination of a PDA and a cellphone.  I know a few things about smart phones because I own a couple.

Smart phones

Very few people have a need for a standalone PDA because who needs to carry an extra “thing” around with you.  I only thought about my old PDA when I saw the Nokia N810 on sale for $250.  I almost bought it, but I held back.

My old PDA is a Dell Axim x51v.  It had all the makings of a good netbook.

Dell Axim x51v

Processor

Intel XScale PXA270 624 MHz Processor

Memory

64MB SD RAM
256MB Flash ROM

Display

Type: TFT Color 16-bit, Touch Sensitive, Transflective LCD 3.7 inches
Number of Colors: 65,536 colors
Display Resolution: 640 x 480

Dimensions

4.7″ (L) x 2.9″ (W) x .07″ (H)

Weight

6.2oz

MISC
Intel 2700G multimedia accelerator with 16MB video memory
Integrated CompactFlash, SDIO and MCC Expansion Slots
Integrated Integrated 802.11b and Bluetooth wireless technology

It was shipped with Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition.

So far, I flashed the OS to run Windows Mobile 6.

Dell Axim x51v WM6

There are a good tutorials out there if you want to do the same.  Stay tuned for more mods and hacks on my newly revived Dell Axim x51v.

Flip Video

A couple of years ago, I bought a Panasonic Mini DV camcorder.  It takes fantastic video, but the problem is that getting that video to your computer is complicated and cumbersome.  First I have install software so that the camcorder cand connect with the computer.  Then I have to transfer the video to the computer.  Each DV tape is like 300MB of raw uncompressed data.  Then you have to edit the video and then encode it to a DVD.  This all takes time.  But in as little as 2 years, technology has changed so much.

Enter the Flip Video.

flip video ultra black

The 2GB of onboard memory will hold 60 minutes of video.  It has a 1.5 inch LCD on the back with a built in speaker.  The convenient built in USB plug connects to your computer easily.  The video is easily downloaded onto your computer to watch or share on places like Youtube.  At $129 with free shipping at Amazon.com, it’s an affordable and fun gadget.  Click Here to go to the Amazon.com Product Page.

I recommend it.  We have a few of those at work to record those funny moments.

Unique Gifts for a Geek

Do you know a geek that has everything he or she wants?  Are you having trouble picking out that one piece of technology that they don’t have?  Well wonder no more.  Introducing the Chumby.

Chumby

Chumby

Chumby is a little internet device that displays current relative information when you want it.  It displays a constant stream of your favorite information, view photos on Flickr, message your friends and family on Twitter and Facebook, and much more.  With so much information packed away in such a little gadget, your geek will love it too.

The price of one of these range from $180 to $230 for a limited edition.

UPDATED (12.12.08) – For a limited time, use coupon code: CHUMBYCJ to receive an additional $30 off the 2008 Latte and Black Chumby.  Happy Shopping.

www.chumby.com

Holiday Gift Ideas That Don’t Suck

Laptops, MP3 players, GPS, TVs, and etc all make excellent gifts.  But they’re so expensive.  Sure, you want to give an awesome gift, but I’m sure the recipient wouldn’t want you to go broke in the process.   So here are 3 geeky gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

For the road warrior geek.

Belkin mini surge protector with usb charger

Belkin mini surge protector with usb charger

Do you have a road warrior in your life?  This little surge protector works wonders.  The USB charger will comes in handy.  Most of the gadgets I take with me on a business trip are changed via USB.  So all I carry is this surge protector and a USB cable.  It’s compact size is ideal for packing.  At less than $20, it makes an ideal gift.

Amazon Product Link Here

For the college student.

Belkin Cushtop Notebook Stand

Belkin Cushtop Notebook Stand

WIth this Notebook stand, laptop users will have a very comfortable computing experience.  Most laptops generate a lot of heat.  It can make your lap quite uncomfortable to work for long periods of time.  With this notebook stand, users can make sure that the computer is in an elevated position.  This is the perfect item for college student who compute from the bed.  At under $25, it’s very affordable.

Amazon Product Link Here

For the automotive geek.

CarMD Handheld Tester

CarMD Handheld Tester

CarMD is the perfect gift for the automotive buff in your life.  It helps diagnose problems with your car with paying hefty mechanic bills.  This gadget will work with all 1996 or newer cars.  A common problem that calls for this gadget is the check engine light.  There’s no way for you to tell what’s wrong with the car without making a trip to the mechanic. At less than $100, it won’t break the bank.

Amazon Product Link Here

Holiday Gift Idea – Kingston 32GB Flash Drive

If you have a geek in your life, chances are that buying him (or her) a gift is one of the most difficult things to do.  They probably own what they want already.  Tech gifts don’t have to always cost over $100.   Tech accessories are definitely the best way to go when buying for a geek.

Just look at this Kingston 32GB Flash drive from Newegg.com.

Kingston 32GB DataTraveler 150

Kingston 32GB DataTraveler 150

Packed in this little USB drive is 32GB of storage.  This drive is one of Kingston faster, higher end drive.  Your geek might turn this into an SSD drive for his or her’s UMPC.  I would.

The best part is that it’s only $48 with Free Shipping at Newegg.com.  Click here to go to the Newegg.com Product Page.

Gadget Review Part 2: Asus Eee PC

I’ve been using an Asus Eee PC 4G for a few months now.  I originally bought it to be a companion PC for my work laptop.  I don’t like to mix business and personal.

Right off the bat, I complained about the tiny keyboard.  I have fat fingers.  Then there’s the tiny screen, 7 inches.  It’s hard to view web pages at 800×480 resolution.  Everything involved scrolling on the tiny track pad.  But it served its purpose.  It was small, lightweight, and handled the job of basic computing.

So what now?  I’m tired of squinting to read the screen.  I’m tired of mashing 3 tiny keys under my finger.  I think I’ll be upgrading to the MSI Wind.  After all, I got my economic stimulus rebate and I have to spend it right?  More about the MSI Wind later.

-Monkey

Gadget Review: Amazon Kindle

The Amazon Kindle is a good gadget for geeks that love to read.  You can even get RSS feeds on this through the built-in Wireless EVDO network.  Oh, here’s the kicker, you don’t have to pay for the connection.  The Kindle comes with the service straight out of the box courtesy of Amazon.  If you’re a die hard geek and want to spurlge, this is the gadget for you.

Pros:

  • Lightweight means very portable
  • Clear text
  • Carry your whole library with you without the bulk
  • Built in connectivity – Shop for books right on the Kindle
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • It cost $369
  • You still have to pay for the books (about $10 each)

Click here to check out the Kindle at Amazon.com

-Monkey