we all know the battery life in our iPhone is not exactly something we wished for. knowing that, most iPhone users would have a portable battery charger and the market is flooded with a myriad of such portable chargers with one thing in-common – they all looks like a piece of brick. aptly called, The Icon, this portable charger from Essential TPE, is about to change the way you look at portable charger. The Icon‘s design resemble the all so familiar battery indicator icon on your iPhone.
like most portable chargers, The Icon charges up with a mini-USB cable from your home computer and as it charges, the green light bars light up gradually. performance wise, The Icon provides iPhone with an additional 3 hours talk time on 3G (and up to 7 hours on 2G), up to 18 hours of audio playback or 5.5 hours on WiFi.
keeping up with a good design product, The Icon comes with a slick microfiber sleeve that you can store your iconic charger when not in use. the charger is packed with a lithium-ion polymer battery and weighs in at just 43 grams. a pretty light weight given it measures 72 x 46 x 16mm (almost the size of an adult palm). The Icon works with both iPhones and iPods (not iPad though).
The Icon was awarded Good Design mark in Taiwan and certified with “Works with iPhone”.
Popular Mechanics is probably THE magazine for every geeks and tech-heads. the pilot issue on iPad, introduced in Summer 2010, served as a test-bed for it’s final released this October on the Apple Appstore. Popular Mechanics gathered readers’ opinion and suggestion (based on the pilot issue) and finally, released this monthly e-zine.
being a reader of the Popular Mechanics Interactive – Pilot Issue reader on iPad, i must say i was rather impressed and excited at the same time. one of the key features of e-zine is the power to create interactive media, instead of the traditional static print pages. even ads can be interactive, which, in commercial stand-point, is an added selling point. empowered with interactivity, the magazine can now show animation of, example, the cause of earthquake.
Basically, PM is being delivered inside a shell app, which you can download for free. Inside are a Library for storing issues you own, and a store for you to buy new issues. as an added bonus, there’s also a News Feed (free!) department. we already seen several publishers using shell app, such as the How Stuff Works e-magazine. shell app allows users to organize multiple issues into a single app, instead of scattering individual icons all over the iPad desktop.
i have read a few other e-zine on iPad but so far, only PM integrates more interactive media within. personally, i thought it is pretty much useless to go on electronic version if publisher don’t harness the ‘power’ of electronic applications. if i were to read static pages, i might as well buy hard copy of the magazine.
it’s not a fantasy to shoot to turn on and off your light. the Bitplay’s Bang! table lamp let you do just that, less the gunpowder smell and there’s no need to register your firearm. don’t worry, you won’t break anything here.
operation is simple: just aim the “gun” at the lamp and pull the trigger. the light goes out and the lampshade tilts to the side – a way of telling you that it’s been hit (though you probably already know when the light goes out). fire the “gun” again at the lamp will turn the lamp back on, putting the shade to its normal position.
talk about ending your day with a bang. but unfortunately, Bang! is just a concept. doh!
we brought attention to the stylish stylus, the Just Mobile AluPen last week. here’s any stylish yet odd-looking stylus from oStylus. unlike traditional stylus, the oStylus has a ring tip instead of your normal rubber head.
so what’s with the ring tip? here’s the logic: our finger, or any other stylus out in the market, tends to block the screen. with the ring tip, it allows you to see the lines and colors that you are drawing. through the ring, of course. as an avid doodler on iPad, i fully comprehend the logic. especially when i was trying to draw fine lines.
the ring is hinged, so it swivels ensure flat contact at any angle. to be honest, when i first saw this product. i was like ‘metal for a stylus tip? that can’t be right’ but my worry was put to rest when i realized that there’s a vinyl at the bottom of the ring. if you ask me, i’d think i will be putting my touchscreen at risk for putting a metal that near to it.
good things don’t come cheap these days – or any other day. the oStylus retails at US$37.50. well, considerably cheap if you compared to it’s original version which is cost US$70. wow. the original version is available upon request.
this is not exactly new but it’s an innovation worthy of mention, again and better yet, the HyroRight has won the recent 2010 Chicago Innovation Award competition. HydroRight converts standard one-button toilet flushing system into a two-button system that could potentially saves gallons of water a year.
it’s a simple design that can install without tools in just 10 minutes. while most new flushing system already comes in two-button flush for water saving, some older models might be missing this water saving features. that’s where HyroRight comes into play. asides for water saving, HyroRight will eliminates flapper problems.
Creative ZiiO Pure (from S$359) | Creative ZEN Touch 2 (from S$279) | www.creative.com
its been quite a while since we last heard from Creative. just yesterday, Creative surprises us with the introduction of a pair of tablet dubbed the ZiiO Pure Wireless Entertainment Tablet and a new portable media player, the Zen Touch 2 Wireless Entertainment Device. both of these will run on Android 2.1.
ZiiO Pure Wireless Entertainment Tablet
the tablet is available in 7-inch and 10-inch screen size with screen resolutions of 800 x 480 px and 1024 x 600 px respectively. both screen sizes will be available in 8GB and 16GB capacities. that’s kind of limited storage space for a tablet. to compensate for the limited storage, there’s a SD expansion slot that support up to 32GB.
the touchscreen is of 262k color TFT, resistive touch and powering the ZiiO is the ZiiLABS ZMS-08 processor. perhaps the main (and only) selling point for the ZiiO is the Creative’s X-Fi technology. since it’s an Android tablet, emails, surfing of web will be part of it’s basic functionality and interestingly, users can download “exciting content ranging from fun apps and games to eBooks” from the Creative ZiiStore. with that statement, i supposed Creative will be opening their own online apps store as well? i can’t help but to wonder how many apps and developers Creative will be able to garner.
other features include front-facing VGA camera, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi 802.11 b/g, HDMI out, accelerometer, 3.5mm stereo jack and mini-USB. supported audio formats include MP3, AAC, WMA9, FLAC, OGG, ADPCM, MIDI, WAV and Audible Format. as for video, it will support H.264, MPEG4, WMV9, MJPEG, MOV, AVI and MKV. according to Creative’s website, requirements for this tablet are Microsoft Windows (XP SP2/64bit, Vista or 7) and USB ports. no mention of Mac, so i guess Apple users will be left out in the cold.
besides the obvious screen size difference between the 7-inch and 10-inch models, the 7-inch utilizes microSD expansion slot supporting up to 32GB, instead of the standard SD size.
ZEN Touch 2 Wireless Entertainment Device
the ZEN Touch 2 comes in 2 version: one with GPS and one without GPS. this 3.2″ screen size media player has a resistive touch 262k color TFT touch screen with a resolution of 480 x 320 px. both version is available in either 8GB or 16GB storage capacity which pretty small for a media player these days. to compensate for the lack of storage, both models has an microSD expansion slot supporting up to 32GB.
like the Apple iPod Touch, the ZEN Touch 2 allows user to surf the Internet using WiFi and play games which can be downloaded from the Android market. some of the goodies are 2MP rear-facing camera, bluetooth 2.1 EDR, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, accelerometer, video out via composite cable (sold separately).
both model touted a 25 hours of continuous playback for audio and 5 hours for video playback. the ZEN Touch 2 runs on Android 2.1. physically, both model does not exhibit any difference, but with the GPS model, it comes with FM radio, GPS (of course) and E-compass.
hmmm, why does it sound so suspiciously Apple iPod Touch alike?
the ZiiO Pure and ZEN Touch 2 will be available via Creative online store from end-December and at the retail stores from January 2011.
(doodled by mike.) i had a scare of my life when i, momentarily, failed to read from my Network Attached Storage (NAS). this incident prompted me with this question: do i need to back-up my back-ups as well? if so, is there an end to it (the back-up)? really, reliability is the issue here. how much can we trust the product that we bought to back-up our data?
i had a nasty experienced with a desktop hard drive a couple of years ago. i had tons of data in it and one fine day (in fact, just a few days after the purchase), it just quit on me. i brought it to the service center and all i got was a one-to-one exchange with no effort to retrieve my data. as a result, i lost many design stuff that i have done. do i really have to back-up my external storage as well? hence, it could be a case of ‘back-up to infinity’. what’s your thought?
the frustration of replacing wireless keyboard batteries might just be things of the past. in comes the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750, which is solar-powered, of course. it’s wafer-thin… almost, measuring just 1/3 of an inch.
this keyboard charges itself whenever there’s natural or artificial light and it will stay charged for three months in total darkness – just in case you decided to be in the darkness for 3 months. so it could be ideal for North Pole, maybe? there’s even a Logitech Solar App to assist you in monitoring the power you have (the keyboard, not you) and check-in to how much power you’re getting from your desk lamp.