As a moderate whiskey sipper I enjoy a few good blends but like to take the edge off with a couple of ice-cubes. Using ice dilutes the overall balance of the flavors so I do not get the real taste of what was intended by the distiller. Being somewhat of a technology geek I decided to try various ice-cube alternatives to test the effects on the taste of my favorites. I am happy to say that I have indeed found an acceptable alternative to the common ice-cube.
Whiskey Stones are a new innovation for the whiskey and bourbon connoisseur out there who likes their spirits on the rocks but hates diluting their favorite libation with ordinary ice cubes. Just drop the stones into the freezer until ready to use. Put them in the bottom of your glass, cover them with two fingers of your favorite beverage, wait five minutes to chill, and enjoy.
These little soapstone wonders cool your drink without diluting the mild nuance of your favorite brand. Whiskey Stones allow you to taste what the distiller meant for you to taste. They impart a “stony” chill to your drink that leaves the real taste intact. They are non-porous so they will not pick up any strange flavors or odors. They can be reused after you are finished by just rinsing them off and letting them air dry before replacing in the freezer. The best thing is that they hold their temperature a fairly long time so enjoy rocks these and sip away.
Once upon a time, the Sony Walkman was the last word in portable music devices for the budget audiophile. Nowadays, it has stiffer competition from Apple and Microsoft but Sony is still putting out a quality device.
The latest iteration of the Walkman is one of the most elegantly designed music devices on the market. Essentially just a pair of headphones, the user is able to slip them on and off with ease when traveling. Playlists are randomized but users can quickly scan songs with the press of a button.
The controls themselves are intuitive. As their is no external media device attached to the headphones, users will control the Sony Walkman by pressing buttons which line the earbuds. For the most part, this is a very intuitive control system but new users might take a little while to get used to controlling their music without being able to see their input.
Of course, what really matters is the sound quality. Audio from the Walkman can be played surprisingly loud for such a small, compact device. The device can really pump the bass and there’s very little audio distortion.
The headphones are waterproof, making them excellent companions for long jogs out in the elements. Sony claims they can even be used in the shower, although there haven’t been many tests to see how well it actually preforms under these circumstances.
Overall, the 2GB Sony Walkman is a great way to get your portable music without breaking the bank for flashier digital music players.
Sony’s flagship camera brand, the Cybershot, has a new member to its ever growing family of products. The Cybershot TX9 camera introduces 3D photography to the masses. Surprisingly affordable, the Cybershot TX9 provides all of the amazing panoramic views that previous models have included, now with the ability to be displayed in stunning 3D images.
The 3D is recorded by photographing individual images for the left eye and the right eye. Images will seem to pop right out of the screen at the viewer. Although other 3D cameras exist, the Cybershot TX9 3D camera is one of the most affordable on the market and represents a new world of widely available 3D photography.
Unfortunately, the TX9 also requires a 3D television set to make any use of the 3D function. Playback on the camera itself will lack a suitable 3D mode. 3D television sets are still very expensive and it will take some time before they are more widely adopted. Still, for those who are on the cutting edge of technology this is both an affordable and functional 3D camera.
In addition to the 3D tools, the TX9 Cybershot has all of the quality features consumers expect from a Sony camera. The 12.2 megapixel photographs are clear and detailed and the interface is easy to use even for beginners. The auto-adjustment tools will help even amateurs produce professional quality pictures.
Whether you’re looking for a top of the line 3D camera or just a great new tool for taking regular pictures, the Cybershot TX9 is one of the best tools available for purchase.
While the new iPhone got all the press, it wasn’t the only announcement at Macworld. A new Mac Mini was also released, switching the tiny computer over to a completely aluminum shell to match the company’s other offerings. The new design is larger, covering about 20cm square with a height of 3.6cm. This is about 4cm wider and longer than the previous Mini and 1.6cm taller. However, the power supply has been integrated into the case so the overall size of the system is smaller than the previous design.
Inside, the hardware is similar to the 13″ MacBook. Graphics have been upgraded to NVIDIA’s GeForce 320M which runs about 80% faster than the previous 9400M. 802.11n is now standard
Video comes from a Mini Display port or an HDMI port, a first for Apple. This allows the Mini to connect directly to an HDTV.
All of the plugs are mounted on the rear including the SD card slot, which makes using it a bit awkward. Data and peripheral connections are handled by four USB ports and a single Firewire port. DDR3 RAM has been added, and a panel has been added to make it much easier for owners to install third-party RAM.
The Mini comes in two versions: For £649 you get a desktop-oriented computer with a 2.4Ghz Core Duo processor, 320GB hard drive, and 2GB of RAM. A new server-oriented Mini uses a 2.66Ghz Core Duo processor and manages to cram two 500GB hard drives in the tiny case. It comes with OSX Snow Leopard Server and 4GB of memory for £929.
With each new generation, the Apple iPhone becomes a more powerful, more spectacular device. The iPhone 4 is no exception. It has several new, much-requested features, along with the same fantastic interface of previous iPhone generations.
One of the most spectacular new features of the iPhone 4 is its brilliant screen, which has a much better resolution than earlier models. The new screen must be seen to be appreciated. Text looks much clearer, and pictures have astounding quality. The updated camera, which now hosts a flash and a simple reverse-view for taking pictures of oneself, makes it easy to get great shots to view on the new screen. A digital zoom also makes the iPhone 4′s camera much more formidable.
The iPhone 4 seems much faster than previous incarnations, although the jump in speed from the 3GS to the 4 isn’t as significant as the jump from the 3G to the 3GS. That’s not a complaint–it’s one of the fastest and most powerful smart phones on the market, and the new speed of the iPhone 4 puts it easily ahead of its competition.
The sleek new design of the iPhone 4 means that the phone is less likely to slip out of your hands, and it’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is practical. Overall, if you’ve waited to get an iPhone, the iPhone 4 makes it easy to get on board with the flagship Apple device. It’s fast, feature-packed, and superior to every other model of Apple iPhone ever released.
The NEX-5 is Sony’s first foray into the new market of small, mirror less cameras with interchangeable lenses. This innovation means you get the quality of traditional cameras with a size that even digital cameras cannot compete with. Although it may look strange at first – its large lens sticking off a palm-sized camera – the quality of the picture and video produced by this camera is striking.
The cameras view screen is 3 inches wide and has very high resolution. It can also be tilted at 80 degrees and 45 degrees in order to adjust to your shooting. The video recording aspect of this tiny camera is indeed a step above what many digital camera users are used to. The 1080i AVCHD video produced by the NEX-5 is crystal clear and captures detail as well as the 14 megapixel photos this camera also produces. The anti-motion-blur, long range shooting, and twilight modes deliver incredible pictures and video under any circumstances.
The panorama mode boasts an impressive 226 degree horizontal panorama range and a 151 degree vertical range. There is even an intriguing upgrade in the works to create the first 3D panorama pictures that can be viewed on the new Bravia 3D television sets to be released in the next few years.
As for storage and battery power, the NEX-5 does not disappoint. You can get approximately 330 shots per battery charge. The NEX-5 supports the most major storage formats through its dual slots. The NEX-5 is indeed an impressive, versatile, and compact camera that is sure to meet the needs of even the most demanding professional photographer.
The Apple iPad has received some criticism–mainly from regular Apple detractors–for its relatively high price tag and low feature set. Much of this criticism centered around the device’s inability to multitask. However, with the latest Apple OS software update, the iPad has gained multitasking abilities, and it’s now fair to say that it’s a formidable machine.
It’s best not to think of the Apple iPad as a traditional computer, since it’s designed for tablet functions. There’s no better device for reading the morning paper or viewing art prints, and the touch screen of the iPad brings a whole new level of intuitiveness to computers. That’s the most astounding part of the iPad in a nutshell: it doesn’t feel like a computer. It feels almost like an extension of oneself, and its brilliant screen and competent processor make it a formidable opponent for other touchscreen devices on the market.
iPad owners can use their computers in typical ways, however. A Bluetooth keyboard can be paired with the iPad, allowing for easier typing, although the touchscreen does a fairly good job. There are a number of cases on the market that allow the iPad to be propped up like a typical laptop when necessary.
Ultimately, the Apple iPad is one of the most exciting computing devices to come out in the last decade. Whether it’s used for ebook reading, music listening, or a variety of other functions, it’s an exciting and fun device with an astounding, innovative feel–perfect for computer users everywhere.
A much needed revision for the Xbox, the 360 Slim, came out in late June to the applause of Microsoft fans everywhere. The new, slick, black version of every gamer’s favorite platform is back and better than ever, albeit with a steep price tag of 300 big ones. If you can foot the bill, this might prove to be one of the better investments in an Xbox, ever.
Technically, Microsoft’s newest cash cow really isn’t called the “Slim”, its the “Xbox 360 S”. Actually, Xbox rarely even uses its actual name in advertisements, preferring to go with the “new” Xbox 360 (which doesn’t sound as cool but sure rakes in the money). Anyways, the ‘S’ comes with a generous 250 Gigabytes of storage, built-in WiFi, KINECT capability, 5 USB ports, a better fan, “smoother” run, and a cool black finish to top it off.
Still, although the pros definitely outweigh the cons, there were some things Microsoft probably could have implemented but opted out on. Blu-ray, for example, has been harped upon by rival Playstation for years now, and Xbox still has chosen not to begin integrate their hardware with the new technology. Another side note on hardware quirks: the black plastic coating is very prone to fingerprint marks and smudges.
Regardless of its tiny shortcomings, the 360 Slim has managed to breathe new life into Xbox. The smaller, sleeker, and more efficient design was merely the icing on the cake for most die-hard Microsoft fan boys, that’s for sure.
This discreet and portable charger boasts a very impressive 5000mA battery. This means your will be able to charge your iPhone over 4 times before the Pebble starts running low on juice. The device is compatible with any gadget that charges via USB, so your camera, phone and MP3 Player will never run out of charge with the Pebble around. So if you’re planning a minibreak or going to a festival this summer the Pebble is well worth popping in your bag or suitcase
This nifty little plastic fob flips open to reveal a short cable with an iPod connector on one end and a USB 2.0 plug on the other. Simply pop it in your pocket and you can charge and sync your beloved gizmo wherever you may roam.
Amazing. This small pink device connects external hard drives to the internet. So you can view or download personal files from anywhere internet connection available. You just need to plugin and log on, you are able to access and share your files and even stream your media straight form your computer at home to your laptop or even iPhone. Read the rest of this entry »
2010 is going to be the year that the smartphone comes to dominate the market and every manufacturer is joining in with its own hardware and software that claims to be smarter than the average mobile. The consumer will have to make their own decisions, although with so many cool phones out there, it could be more difficult than you might think.
HTC has become a key player in the modern smartphone market and the Legend benefits from the Android 2.1 operating system and a large 3.2 inch touchscreen display. The screen uses AMOLED technology, which has the capabilities to display rich colours and bright images without eating into the battery life. Wi-Fi connectivity couples with 3G for lightening fast internet access and a 5 megapixel camera with a flash and autofocus completes the Legend`s vital statistics. The Sense interface which HTC lays over the top of Android is a big selling point, as it makes customisation and social networking easily accessible. Read the rest of this entry »
The Canon PowerShot S90 is the perfect camera for serious photography without the bulk of a digital SLR. With 10 glorious megapixels and a wide-angle lens the PowerShot allows maximum creativity with amazing end results. Read the rest of this entry »
The HP HDX16-1005EA 16in Blu-ray Notebook is a stylish powerful notebook with enough graphics power to be a power drain. Perfect for watch Blu-ray movies on the train – but best to book a seat with a power socket.
Packing 1GB of internal storage the Aiptek V10 is a Pocket Cinema – thats right an LCD projector that fits in your pocket. It can fire upto an 50 inch image at a not too bad 640 x480 resolution, so it really does mean that for little money you can be a mobile cinema or an sales guy who leaves an impression.
Philips is launching what they claim to be the ultimate TV for cinematic viewing, the TV is a unique 21:9 ratio to match the ratio of modern films. The idea – no more black bars on your widescreen TV… perfect. Read the rest of this entry »
Possibly the ultimate travellers USB hub, with the USB Squid you will never get caught without a free port again. The USB Squid turns one USB socket into 4 USB sockets, that is enought to plug in your mobile, MP3 and well 2 other USB devices.
The 22-inch BenQ G2200WT LCD Monitor is a fantastic screen if you are looking to grab a display on a budget. In fact this thing is so cheap you could go for a sweet dual or quad display set up for next to no money, what better way to make your PC look the part without spending heaps. Read the rest of this entry »
Netbooks are the new “big” thing, what started off being a niche filled by the Asus and Acer brands of this world is now catching the eye of the big guns. Both HP and Sony have announced further in roads in to the netbook arena, with HP shouting about its Mini 2140 Netbook and Sony bringing out a fit in your pocket netbook with built in 3G. Read the rest of this entry »
HP has just announced the HP Mini 2140 Netbook, a netbook that manages a healthy 7 hours of web browsing on single charge and features a very nice 1024 x 576 resolution screen. Read the rest of this entry »
Apple’s new MacBook Pro is the thinnest 17 inch laptop that money can buy. The new MacBook Pro features a new laptop battery technology that Apple claim will give a massive 8 hours of use between charges – that is better than Netbook territory! Read the rest of this entry »
JVC is showing off its new prototype thin HD TV at CES, which is a mere 7mm thin. The 32inch Screen is surely the direction of things to come, but isn’t the thinnest TV at this years show – as rival Samsung is showing a TV that is 0.5mm thinner!
The Acer Aspire One Netbook like its rival the Asus eee PC 901 is very tempting purchase, a fully usable laptop that you can take anywhere. The Apsire One has a very similar spec to the Asus, although loses out when it comes to battery life, but non the less this is a very good machine. Read the rest of this entry »
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