Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - Page 14 News List

[TECHNOLOGY REVIEWS]

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NEXT, A CAMCORDER WILL KNOW IF YOUR HAIR ISN’T COMBED

The Sony HDR-CX12 believes you should never have to say “cheese” again. This small and light camcorder automatically takes still photos whenever anyone in the frame smiles, ensuring that every shot is at least partly a keeper.

The camera records video at 1920 x 1080 pixels — 1080i quality — and records video and stills to an included 4-gigabyte Memory Stick. The camera supports memory cards up to 16 gigabytes.

The videocamera is available now and costs about US$900. It can shoot photos at 10-megapixel resolution and records audio in 7.1-surround sound, adding a bit of realism to your next birthday party. It also has a 2.7-inch screen and optical stabilizers that reduce jitter while recording.

Interestingly, the camera can distinguish between adult and child smiles, ensuring that you shoot only the group you intended. The camera takes the photos automatically, even while recording video. And for those subjects who won’t smile? Just wait: Sony’s working on a newer model that dispenses free lollipops and hugs.

A CASE FOR FILLING THE IPHONE 3G’S POWER VACUUM

The iPhone 3G boasts its share of worthy features, but a durable battery life isn’t one of them, at least not if you consider yourself a power user. For an alternative to the midday charge, Incase has created the Power Slider Case for iPhone 3G.

The 71g case simultaneously protects and charges your iPhone 3G. Housed in a protective shell, the power slider has an integrated lithium-ion polymer battery that provides up to five hours of extended talk time, up to seven hours of added video playback life and up to 26 hours of additional audio playback time. The slider also gives users an additional five hours of Web access (six hours on Wi-Fi).

Your iPhone’s battery will start to drain only after the power slider’s battery has been fully depleted. Incase has also added a five-light LED battery status indicator on the back of its case to help you keep track of your juice. The slider also comes with an integrated sync mode that allows the iPhone to sync with Apple’s iTunes program. Heavy users won’t have to wait long to get one.

QUICK SNAPS, AND THEN INSTANT PRINTS

While Polaroids might be fading away as the film used to make the instant photos is phased out, Fujifilm is introducing a new instant film camera, the Instax 200.

Aimed at real estate agents, law enforcement officers or just the impatient, the new Instax format allows photo prints to be produced on the spot. The US$70 Instax 200 features an automatic-adjusting flash, a large viewfinder and two range options for shooting (0.9m to 3m and 3m to infinity).

In the meantime, Fujifilm has introduced a smaller companion instant camera, the Instax Mini 7. The Mini 7 prints instant color photos the size of credit cards in minutes. The Instax Mini costs US$130 from UrbanOutfitters.com (tinyurl.com/5qnmcj).

A TABLET PC THAT LETS THE USER DECIDE WHETHER TO TYPE OR TOUCH

The TX2Z from Hewlett-Packard is the first multitouch convertible tablet PC, which means you can turn the screen to hide the keyboard and use only your fingers on the laptop’s 12-inch display.

The computer can hold up to 8 gigabytes of memory and comes with a DVD burner and up to 500GB of hard drive space.

Multitouch, which first reached the mainstream with the iPhone, allows the computer to register two individual points of contact on the laptop screen and allows you to pinch, spread and drag items, virtually. HP’s special Touchsmart software improves the overall experience by adding multitouch to the laptop’s media and photo functions.

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