Technology and Science

Cool Gadgets – issue22

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Samsung Galaxy S – publisher choice

The Samsung Galaxy S is the best smartphone Samsung has made so far, and it’s easy to see in the build quality and sheer functionality of the device.

It excels at movies, music and internet, is a good messaging device and works fast and promptly, with minimal slowdown (although we did experience a little bit of slight freezing from time to time).

The cost is a little high and there are some kinks that need to be ironed out (although we’re sure they will be) before this can be classed as a real world beater. The widgets feel a little bit low-budget too, compared to the HTC range.

But overall it’s a decent phone and well worth taking a look at. If you’re in the mood for a new smartphone, we advise you check it out. The Samsung Galaxy S is a worthy adversary to the best of the mobile market.

We liked
The screen is the first thing you notice on the Galaxy S – it’s large, clear and so sharp. The contrast ratios are to die for, and the quality is superb.

It’s also a very light phone, and when you think you can cram up to 48GB of content in there, that makes it a very portable media player indeed.

Swype text input is cool, and the HD video recording worked well. We also loved the fact that finally DLNA content sharing works through the AllShare application

We disliked
There were a few odd foibles with the Galaxy S. For instance, not being able to lose the SIM contacts in the address book was very annoying.

It also looks too much like an iPhone for us – many people who weren’t Apple (or smartphone) fans thought that was the case, and that will be a turn off for some.

It’s also a little on the expensive sid – nearly £500 SIM free and £35 a month on a two-year deal with Vodafone before you can get it for free.


Boxee Movies, TV Shows and Video from the Internet on your TV.
Boxee is a fantastic bit of software that can be installed on your computer or Apple TV to ‘beam’ the best web video content to your television.

Users can access content from the BBC iPlayer, YouTube and But the people behind Boxee have decided to simplify the process further still by launching a set-top box, so users don't have to worry about the complicated process of downloading and installing software. The Boxee box is the size of a couple of CDs, and plugs directly in to your televison to stream the best of the web over your home broadband network. The box is available only in the US at the moment, but expect to see it in the UK before the year is out.

kindle 3g wireless reading device

Among leading e-book readers, a 6-inch screen–which approximates the size of a paperback book–is standard: it's what you'll find on the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook, and at least one version of the Sony Reader. But for those who prefer the more spacious pages of a magazine or newspaper, that size can be a bit cramped. With that in mind, Amazon released the Kindle DX in the summer of 2009, supersizing the Kindle experience with a 9.7-inch e-ink screen.

With the subsequent arrival of the Apple iPad in April 2010, many tech pundits wrote off Amazon'

The bottom line: Though it has a hard time competing with Apple’s iPad in terms of functionality, the less-expensive 2010 Kindle DX will appeal to those looking for a large, dedicated e-reader with an e-ink display.

Video Sunglasses £99
Sunglasses are a beach essential, like sand in your sandwiches and the inevitable shockingly under-clad elderly folk, but these Video Sunglasses go a step further. Rather than lugging a camera and an MP3 player to Munyonyo beach (Uganda) with you, why not combine the whole lot? These tech-savvy shades cheekily house a 1.3 megapixel pinhole video camera as well as an MP3 player – and 2GB of flash memory for all your digital gubbins.


Light Blue Turns Any Flat Surface Into a Touch Screen

The Light Touch from Light Blue Optics is a marvel — it can beam a virtual computer on to any flat surface, allowing users to tap away as though on a proper keyboard. It's not commercially available — the Cambridge-based company is hoping to license the technology to other manufacturers — but if it does go on sale, it could herald a shift in the way we interact with the world around us.


USB Negative Scanner – £49

The great thing about old 35mm photos is that most of us have them 'backed up' on negatives stuffed in forgotten drawers. The bad thing, however, is that most of us can't remember what's on the negatives until we hold them up to the light and squint. And even then it's hard to tell. Enter the truly ingenious USB Negative Scanner.


Baby Quasar Anti-Aging Photo Rejuvenation £280
Better skin tone, fewer brown spots and reduced fine lines. Affordable beauty salon quality treatment at home…
Although light therapy has been used worldwide for more than 40 years, it has become popular for cosmetic enhancement only recently. Baby Quasar is the only Photo Rejuvenation device for home use with SequePulse® technology. SequePulse® solves the problems normally associated with devices using multiple wavelengths. By sequentially pulsing the light, Baby Quasar eliminates harmonics in the light, thereby allowing you to achieve faster, better results.


Sony PM5 Bloggie £137

Colourful, light and easy to carry, Bloggie is the fabulously spontaneous way to share memories, update your personal blog, or post to social networking apps while you’re travelling, just point and shoot, then walk in to any internet café, hook up Bloggie and upload your life using the camera’s embedded software.

The camcorder features image-stabilisation technology, to reduce camera shake, and face-detection to ensure people remain front and centre in a shot. It also boasts a lens that can rotate through 360 degrees, which Sony says will make it easy to “capture life from any angle”. Wow

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