FlipStart Super Compact PC
Have you ever dreamed of an ultra-portable computer that had all the capabilities of a regular PC, but at a fraction of the size? This tiny powerhouse has made that dream a reality, offering 1.1 Ghz of processing power, a 30GB hard drive, and the choice of Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista Business operating systems in a familiar clamshell design that measures just 5.9 x 4.5 x 1.6 inches and weighs less than two pounds. An InfoPane feature provides you with a low-power external view of Microsoft Outlook email, calendar and contacts without having to open the unit. No need to squint at the high-resolution, 5.6-inch display: FlipStart’s Zoom lets you enlarge a specific area — such as a window or Web image — or an entire application up to nine levels. Given that FlipStart Labs is the latest pet project of Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen, we have a very good feeling about this one. $1,999. (http://www.flipstart.com)
LINgo Voyager 4 Talking Translator
This BlackBerry-like device may fast become your new favorite traveling companion. With a 14-language capability (German, Portuguese, French, Russian, and Chinese, to name just a few), it speaks and translates more than 280,000 words and 32,000 useful phrases. It’s also the first 14-language translator to come loaded with the New Oxford American Dictionary, as well as a built-in voice recorder and eight games and puzzles, including the wildly popular Sudoku. It also includes a currency converter, shoe/clothing size converter, and an oversized eight-line LCD backlit screen for easy reading. Don’t leave home without it. $199.95. (http://www.lingotravel.com)
Hammacher Schlemmer 10x Cell Phone Reception Amplifier
Few things are more annoying than a dropped call when you’re traveling in the car through a reception dead spot. This nifty tool boosts your cell phone reception 10x by improving bi-directional signal strength, including both voice calls and data streams, without requiring special programming. Just plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter and connect the antenna magnetically to your car’s exterior — there’s no physical connection to your phone, so it’s perfect for use with a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone. And it works with all current cell phone carrier protocols. $199.95. (http://www.hammacher.com)
XM Xpress RC
This new device from satellite radio leader XM (shown below) is the first-ever full-color, split-screen radio receiver. It allows you to customize your display to view one, two or four channels simultaneously; the split-screen function displays current channel information on the left side, and either the previous channel or three additional XM channels on the right. A 60-minute buffer automatically saves the last 60 minutes of programming so you can replay what you just heard, even if you change channels. $169.99. (http://www.xmradio.com)
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