Monday, September 15, 2008

The TomTom GO 700

The last time we reviewed a GPS navigator, it was a Garmin Nuvi. The most famous navigation company is of course, TomTom. It's the largest manufacturer of GPS systems in Europe.

In addition to it's navigations devices and software, TomTom also has several services to which users can subscribe. More on this a little further down. The unique feature of the TomTom GO 700 is that it uses bluetooth to commnicate with a handsfree device. This is a new feature that also allows you to use the device itself as a handsfree component.

For example, if you get an incoming call, the TomTom GO 700 will display the call on its' screen. You can also use it to dial numbers and control your mobile...all without having to lay a finger on your mobile phone itself.

Another first for the TomTom GO 700, is the integration of a hard drive. Till now, GPS navigation systems have always relied on SD cards for the storage of maps. Now, with a built in hard drive, you don't need to fiddle around with SD cards. Some people may find this less convenient, but I feel that most users will appreciate it. In addition, all the maps of North America come pre loaded onto the hard drive

The screen has been improved too. Though nowhere close to the colors that can be displayed on a laptopp or even a PDA, it can now display 4,096 colors instead of the usual 256 colors that it used to display. It no longer has the clunky visuals that make you think of a child's drawing.

Integrated with the TomTom GO 700, is the ability to subscribe to all the TomTom services. So if you want live traffic updates, or the ability to spot speed cameras in advance, you can pay a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 a month, or $49.99 a year.

"Map Share" is another service that allows you to share your modified maps with other users. For example, if you find that a road is blocked, you can input it onto the screen, and those who have allowed your updates to reach them will be kept informed of the change, and their GPS systems will change their routing behavior accordingly.

So pick up the TomTom GO 700 now at

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Apple iPod Nano 4G

Apple is sure going on a thinning spree. Starting with their MacBook Air, they've caught onto the fact that "thin is in". They've extended this mantra with their latest Apple iPod Nano 4G. It's the thinnest iPod we've seen till date and it comes bundled with a lot of exciting new features that you find only on the Apple products.

Starting off, it's different from the previous iPods in that it's round and it has a glass screen that is rounded too. The screen is clear and it borrows a feature from the iPhone - namely that when you turn it on it's side, it automatically goes into landscape mode.

Ready for another cool Apple innovation? It has something called a "Shake the shuffle" feature which means that if you want to move to a new random song, you just need to give the Apple iPod Nano 4G a quick hard shake! It's not something that can happen accidentally as you have to shake it pretty hard, and I don't really see a lot of people using it but it certainly is a nice cool thought.

The "Genius Playlist" feature is pretty neat too. What it does when activated, is that it creates a list of 25 songs from your database that sound similar to the one that is currently playing! So if you're in the mood for blues and you don't want to go through all the trouble of selecting or creating a playlist from the exisiting songs, all you have to do is create the automatic playlist.

If you plug in a set of compatible iPod headsets, then a special voice recording features is activated. This wont happen with any other headset, and this seems to be Apple's way of trying to ensure that it's accessories will be used with the Apple iPod Nano 4G.

Available in 9 different colors as you can see in the picture, you can be pretty sure of finding a phone that is compatible with your taste and lifestyle. A great gadget, and like all of Apple's products, they're "Irresistible Goodies".

Find it at

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Microsoft Xbox 360

Microsoft's Xbox 360 is the second version of the Xbox released by Microsoft. Termed as a 6th generation gaming console, it has some seriously cool features, as well as an updated look that is sure to set gizmo freaks drooling.

Actually Microsoft is putting a lot of research into developing the console and this is demonstrated by the fact they are constantly upgrading the device. The latest upgrade was in 2007. The Xbox 360 was originally unveiled on MTV giving you an idea of the target audience that Microsoft wanted to capture.

The first thing you notice about the Microsoft Xbox 360 is it's shape. It looks like some sleek alien creature or piece of technology out of the future. You can see the gamepad that comes with it. Notice it doesn't have any cables and this is sure to be a blessing to us old gamers who have struggled for years with twisted cables.

If you like to customize your gaming pads, and you dont' want to be stuck with white, no problem! You can find them in just about any color that you want including black and a printed blue.

The Microsoft Xbox 360 is built of playing on High Definition TV. It also has an HDMI output. Of course, the worth of any console is the range of top games that play on it. And as the seasons have come and gone, the Microsoft Xbox 360 has developed a great range of games that are really worth playing including Call of Duty 4.

It comes with a 20 GB hard drive. It's quite unlike the hard drive of a standard PC. Rather it's more detachable like the Sony VAIO battery. One can imagine that this makes the unit substantially lighter, and that's very important.

The front of the unit has two USB controllers and is also where you can insert the media to carry your saved games to say your friends house. You can use the USB ports to plug in your MP3 player so that you can have your favorite rock music playing in the background while you smash up some cars :D

Get the Xbox 360 at

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Dell XPS 730 H2C

The Dell XPS 730 H2C is one computer that's really meant for speed. Released at an astounding a$6,747, the computer really manages to impress with it's super cool hardware.

Let's start off with the processor. The new Intel Quad Core processor makes use of the latest micro architecture and cooling systems. The performance is enhanced with hafnium based circuitry. Interestingly, this is the very first time that Dell has shipped it's computers CPU's overclocked. That means that they have bumped up the speeds beyond the specifications. That may not be a good thing if you feel that overclocking will reduce the life of your CPU.

To compensate for the heat generated by overclocking, Dell has included a watercooling system to drain the heat out. I dont' really know how that works, but it sure sounds damn cool!

Secondly, it looks as if the computer was really built for gamers. It has two ATI graphics cards, and effectively encloses four graphics chips. This means that it's designed to perform with any graphic intensive application that is thrown at it. The computer supports two standards of graphics card configurations - The Scalable Link Interface (SLI), as well as the Crossfire interface which allows two PCIE graphics cards within the same system to be linked.

Each graphics chip has a memory of 1 GB and four of them make a ridiculously huge amount of video memory. This system would outperform any other system in the standard graphics tests.

The thing about graphics software is that it's continuously evolving and this is a real problem when it comes to graphics drivers. What's the guarantee that ATI will continue to update the software and drives for this particular configuration over a period of time? Dell has neutralized that issue by promising it's customers that they will always supply AMD coded drivers for this particular hardware configuration. That's very important if long term software support is important for you.

Gamers are also well known for their adherence to cool looks, and the Dell XPS 730 H2C surely doesn't disappoint. It looks really space age with laser etched sides giving you a glimpse into the red interiors.

Dell also has 24x7 live support for this system, as it is an XPS. To get this cool beast, find the best prices for it on

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Nokia E71

The Nokia E71 is a great looking smart phone with excellent business features. It's set up to be a rival to the famed Blackberry, and it certainly shares some physical features with it. While not as large, it has a full QWERT keyboard and a screen that is proportionate to the size of the Blackberry.

While I'm never a very big fan of smart phones, I must say that the Nokia E71 is good buy. I can understand that business users have more requirements than a non-business user. Specifically the keyboard is very important, as most of them don't have the time to learn how to type using a stylus. The Nokia E71 has a very good keyboard set that has great buttons.

Let's start off with Email. The Nokia E71 has any number of features to help it connect with a variety of email standards including push email, Microsoft Exchange, and SMTP accounts. It also has a feature where you can have your messages read out to you in case you're unable to use your hands at any given moment.

The Nokia E71 also tries to serve you well at home. It has an interesting feature called the "Personal" and the "Business" mode. In the business mode, you have quick access to your email and other productivity suites, and in Personal mode you can access all your music and videos.

It has almost every feature that a phone can have including GPS, wifi, and bluetooth. But that's to be expected with such an expensive piece. One of the factors contributing to the price is that it's currenty unlocked. This means that you can dump the SIM of any carrier into it. That's quite a bonus actually. However, once it does get tied up, the prices will drop significantly. You might want to consider buying it while it is still unlocked, as it will be a one of a kind phone after that.

It doesn't run Windows Mobile. Instead it runs the Symbian OS. There's plenty of support and software that is developed for this OS, and so you won't have trouble finding packages that do what you want. Also, it's Quickoffice suite enables you to open and use all word and excel documents, so you don't really miss not having a Windows OS.

Pick it up at

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Nikon D3

The Nikon D3 is Nikon's first dSLR camera with a full frame sensor. If you remember my previous post about SLR cameras, you will know that an SLR camera means that you get an accurate preview of the shot that is taken.

The Nikon D3 is unique in that it has exceptional sensitivity. It has a full frame sensor which means that within the camera, the sensor is exactly 35 mm. Most cameras have a sensor that is smaller, as it is easier to make as well as cheap. The ISO of the Nikon D3 is therefore one of the most sensitive around. ISO is a measure of how easily a camera can take pictures in the dark as well as how well it can snap fast moving objects without blurring.

The body of the Nikon D3 is very sturdy. In fact, one of the disadvantages of having a magnesium alloy for the body is that it becomes somewhat heavy, and this is exactly what has happened in this case. The body weighs over 3 pounds and that is without the lens. However, long experience has shown that you get used to the weight over a period of time and you might find that the camera actually increases in stability.

The design is almost perfect, being most optimized to holding the camera easily. If you have a unique way of holding your camera, you can customize the buttons to easily perform the functions that you want without having to stretch.

The camera allows users to fit other DX format (As opposed to the FX format) lenses in meaning that the Nikon D3 comes with great compatibility. One of the stand out features is the 920,000 dot LCD screen which gives has an astounding 170 degree viewing angle.

The camera can shoot upto 9 pictures per second which is truly amazing, and Nikon has something called Hi2 and Hi3 mode which effectively multiplies the ISO levels. This means that you can shoot pictures in an ISO of upto 25,000. This has got to be one of the most high level cameras ever. If you have the budget for it you can pretty much to absolutely anything photography related with it.

Find the best prices for it at

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Dell Inspiron Mini 9

The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is the latest in a series of Netbooks that have been hitting the market recently. A Netbook is actually a Notebook that is optimized for Internet Access and basic functions. Going forward with the trend of moving all applications onto the Internet, there is a new breed of computing geeks that are relying more and more on the browser and the cloud to do their work.

To this end, the mantra now is that you don't need local resources to perform your tasks. If you use the Internet to it's full potential, you get web based applications and storage space that do all the work for you, without draining your PC resources. The only thing that is needed, is a great Internet connection.

The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 certainly provides a lot of options for this. Going by the founding principles of Dell, it is almost completely customizable, and you can get it in a wide variety of ranges starting from just $349!

Dell has also innovated on the keyboard for the Dell Inspiron Mini 9. The challenge with a small laptop is how to make the keys comfortable enough for typing. What they've done is remove the function keys and reduce the size of the other non-typing keys like the Caps lock and the scroll lock key. But don't worry. The function keys aren't gone. They've just been reassigned to others via the Fn key. This is ok, since most people don't use the function keys all that much anyway.

The CPU is the usual Intel Atom which is the standard CPU used for Ultra-Mobile PC's. Intel claims that it's made from the smallest processors in the world. The idea is to save on battery life and enable compact designs. The difference is noticable in the fact that the battery lasts for around 3-4 hours and there is enough computing power for the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 to boot up in 45 seconds!

As you can see in the picture, it's got an 8.9 inch screen diagonally. It also comes with a Gigabyte of RAM, and astonishingly Windows XP! I thought that microsoft had stopped computer vendors from bundling XP anymore. But that's a good thing. I firmly believe that there's lots of juice left in XP, and it's only fair that people can enjoy it for longer.

Find the best prices for the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 at