A mouse with an integrated scanner – wow! Now that’s what we call a dandy gadget! Looking inconspicuously like your bog standard mouse, it isn’t until you press a small button on the side of the mouse that it jumps into doubled-edged action when its integrated scanner is activated.
Being able to swipe and scan content and then send it directly on to your computer in real time, means the LG Smartscan Mouse is possibly the smartest gadget LG has produced to date. And that’s not all, once content is on your computer you can crop, edit and highlight it to your heart’s content, and even put tables from scanned images into Excel so that they are then fully editable.
Another mouse that helps pave the argument that computer mice certainly aren’t dead is the Microsoft Touch Mouse. Dual-functionality it hasn’t, but this sleekly black-matte mouse is certainly an impressive additional to Microsoft’s mice portfolio. Its superiority lies in the fact that the Touch Mouse is optimised for Windows 7 and so every feature and gesture performed with the Touch Mouse is designed to augment the Windows 7 performance.
Hot on Microsoft’s heels is the Apple Magic Mouse, which was the first-ever multi-touch capable mouse to hit the market. This ambidextrous mouse adopts Apple’s minimalist design, although for some, it takes minimalism a little too far as isn’t large enough to fill the natural curve of your hand.
With revolutionary hyper-fast scrolling for flying through web pages and documents, the Logitech MX 1100 Cordless Laser Mouse is definitely a contender in the race to find the world’s most dynamic mouse. With adjustable dpi laser engine, customisable precision is achieved and with enhanced 2.4 GHz cordless technology, the MX 1100 Cordless Laser Mouse has gained a reputation for providing a robust and reliable performance.
We still reckon LG’s Smartscan tips the pedestal of the world’s most premium mice and that LG’s rivals will soon follow suit and that there will be an impending explosion of dual-functioning mice on our doorstep.
One novel feature seems to be standing out in the latest press releases finding their way to the Latest Gadget’s contributors at the moment – the number of technological manufacturing companies to be collaborating with fashion designers. The latest technical establishment to be employing the talents of the fashion design industry in an attempt to whip up business, is LG, who has teamed up with British fashion designer Giles Beacon and created a limited edition range of Cinema 3D TV glasses, which are being sold exclusively though Selfridges.
The bespectacled designer is renowned for his chunky style of glasses and flamboyant use of colours and patterns, and none more so than the new 3D glasses, aptly titled ‘Giles for LG’.
The glasses are following on from the stylish range of cinema 3D TVs it brought out earlier this year, although, somewhat ironically, without the style. Although LG are obviously mislead into believing that the glasses are stylish and pleasing to the eye. LG’s Consumer Marketing Director, Stephen Gater, tries to convince us of the fashionable merits of the new glasses by stating:
“Cinema 3D TVs are all about getting together and enjoying the magic of 3D with your friends and family and the ‘Giles for LG’ glasses now offer you an ultra stylish option to enjoy your favourite 3D movies, sports and documentaries.”
If you want to look like a complete wally in the cinema – think Timmy Mallet, Dennis Taylor and Chris Evans – then buying a pair of Giles for LG 3D glasses should do the job – Oh well, for just £29.99 a pair, you won’t exactly be breaking the bank to look like a prized idiot!
Can’t wait to see what the next technology manufacturer/fashion designer collaboration will be.
Projectors are pretty cool. When your friends would boast of a new, 40-inch LCD TV, you’d humbly invite them round to sit in front of your home projection cinema experience. Then along came 3D TVs, and your projector was relegated to obsolescence and PowerPoint presentations. No more! LG have created a full HD 3D projector within a single box.
Usually 3D technology uses two separate lenses to overlay images, thus creating passive 3D images, like you’d find at the cinema. It takes a lot of effort to manually calibrate the two projection screens. LG had enough of this, and so developed a way to reduce the polarised light technology into a single lens.
This means that the projector, the CF3D, is extremely easy to set-up and use – no calibration needed. Simply use it like a standard projector – it’s probably the simplest and most manageable home 3D projector on the market.
It’s no slouch in the technical specs department, either. The projected image can easily stretched 200 inches, while it has a rating of a full 2500 ANSI-lumens (brightness) and a 7,000:1 contrast ratio (pretty darn good).
As the machine is officially 3D certified, it’s got a refresh rate of 60 Hz per image – or a silky smooth 120Hz for 2D imagery.
Best of all, as a passive projector, new 3D glasses cost about £2 from your local Vue cinema. They are less expensive, lighter and with bigger frames than the “active” solutions found in television sets. The CF3D ships with six free pairs – already saving you £400 over a competing 3D TV.
Are we excited? Just a little bit. Projectors were always a better way to watch films than TVs, and now with more affordable 3D, hopefully the projection market will only grow.
This year you weren’t anyone if you didn’t announce a new smart phone, the majority of which are now powered (or based upon) the Android operating system. Being “Latest Gadgets” rather than “Latest Phones” meant that we only focused on the phones that caught our eye, rather than trying to provide a complete list of all the phones launched at this year’s show. So, without further ado, here are the ones that made us sit up and take notice (and not always for the right reason!).
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Smartphone
First up is the ‘visually brilliant’ Xperia arc. This is the firm’s first phone to feature a mobile version of the Bravia engine and comes with the latest version of Android. The phone comes complete with a HDMI output to view your videos and photos on your TV as well as ‘Sony Exmor R’ for mobile which helps with low-light photography. Being in a brightly lit exhibition hall didn’t give us much opportunity to test this particular feature, but we did have a quick play with the rest of the phone. Unfortunately our first impression wasn’t overly positive, we found the interface to be rather slow and the design of the phone (as seen in our candid snapshots above – click to enlarge) wasn’t anything to write home about.
The ‘Nexus S’ by Samsung/Google
Next up is the latest phone from Google, featuring Android 2.3, full integration (as you’d expect) with Google Mobiles Services and a Super AMOLED display. The phone’s design was perfectly acceptable and comfortable to hold. The feedback vibration when using the screen was reassuring rather than annoying. In terms of usability and speed – we initially found the phone to be extremely laggy and attempting to view a sample video resulted in a black screen. However, all of this was rectified by a Samsung employee who performed the classic ‘turn it off and on again’ routine. Having done this, we found the Nexus to be much quicker and more responsive than the ‘arc’. The Nexus S will also come with support for Flash 10.1 and HTML 5 to enable ‘full use’ of web sites.
Motorola, ever so modestly, introduced their new Atrix phone as the “World’s most powerful smartphone”. The Atrix comes with a dual core processor which promises faster, smoother graphics and web browsing. It also comes with the World’s first qHD display and a web browser that supports Flash – something which, unsurprisingly, all manufacturers are shouting from the roof tops in order to try and get one over on Steve Jobs and Co. The unusual and somewhat intriguing (in our opinion at least!) part of the Atrix offering is what the firm calls a ‘revolutionary webtop application’. This is basically a latop/docking station for your Atrix which gives you a bigger screen and full-size QWERTY keyboard. The idea is that you have one of these “I can’t believe it’s not a laptop” devices at home and work and then carry all your files on your phone. Unfortunately the design of the laptop appeared to be very basic and it had a distinctly plasticky feel to it. Motorola aren’t known for their laptops (as far as we know!) and we’re not sure that venturing in to this field is the way to go. However, stranger things have happened – so we’re prepared to eat our hat if this turns out to be the future of mobile computing!
‘Revolution’ by LG
Like most firms, LG announced a whole range of new smart phones at this year’s CES, but again we’ve just focused on the one that caught our eye. In this case it was the ‘Revolution’ which will initially be available on the Verizon network in the US. However we imagine that we’ll see it at some point in the future in the UK but perhaps under a different guise or product name.
The main headline offering from the Revolution is its support for full HD streaming, playback and recording. This means you can wirelessly stream content from your phone to any compatible TV – and we were told this doesn’t just include LG sets. In addition to HD support, the Revolution comes with all the features you’ve come to expect, such as dual cameras for video calling, a 5M AF camera with LED flash, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. A nice additional touch is that the Revolution comes with a wireless charger which we didn’t see in action but imagine will become more common place in the year to come.
It may not be available until the spring, but there are some stirring rumors flying around about LG’s new Rumor Touch phone.
In bragging a hefty 3-inch touch screen, increasing its 4-line keyboard to a 5-line one, boosting its camera by O.7 MP to 2.0 MP, and including a 3G data capability on Sprint’s network, the Rumor Touch can justifiably be considered as being infinitely superior to its predecessor, the LG Rumor. And so it should be considering all the preliminary hype about this latest touch screen phone, which is not available on the market for another four months!
Although the LG Rumor Touch’s preeminence does not stop at its giant touch screen and full QWERTY keyboard. Additional features include a Hello user interface, enabling favorite contacts to be quickly attainable from the home page, a microSD memory card slot with 32GB card capability, Instant Messaging and SMS threaded text messaging, easy image upload of MySpace, YouTube, and Photobucket, and, most importantly, a quick demo video from an LG employee for those struggling to get their head around the phone’s complexity of features.
But what I find pleasantly pleasing about this phone is that unlike many of the camera phones flooding the market at present, the LG Rumor Touch has a battery life of up to 7 hours of continuous talk time. So many times have I been cut of “mid-sentence” or faced with a black screen, cruelly stopped from capturing my baby take his first steps on camera, that the fact that this camera phone has a longer battery life than many of its rivals is enough to make me go out and buy it.
Also for the many Facebook fanatics amongst us, a Facebook app is conveniently accessible from the main menu.
Although the cost of the LG Rumor Touch has yet to be announced, at least by the time the phone arrives on the shelves so should have the warmer weather, and our fingers should be less frozen and more capable at dealing with intricacy involved with a touch screen phone.