Thursday, October 1, 2009

Insufficient memory problems? Hopefully, not for long.

Is it just me or does the constant need to delete game saves to make room for others get kind of tedious and annoying? Home consoles have adapted to include hard drives, and come close to eliminating the problem. However, portable systems, even with memory card slots, just never had the capacity. This is especially true now that handheld gaming systems are getting downloadable content and media support like their homebound brethren.

That is, until now. SanDisk, the leading developer of flash memory cards, announced cards for the three top portable systems, which rival some personal media players. The new line up includes a 16GB Memory Stick Micro™ (M2)™ card for the Sony® PSP® go system; a 32GB Memory Stick PRO Duo™ and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™ card for the Sony PSP® system; and an 8GB SDHC™ card for the Nintendo DSi™ system. For full details read the original press release here.

Each individual card practically doubles the memory capacity of their respective units, and are not limited to just gaming systems. Their compatibility extends to most electronics that use the same card size. What makes these special then? Read and write speeds that keep your data flowing fast and free, and avoid choppy video streaming and audio hiccups.

All of these SanDisk offerings are shipping now in the United States except the 32GB SanDisk Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo card, which will be shipping world wide a little later in October. Individual retailers will set final pricing.

To view’s full selection of current SanDisk Products, click here.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Navigation/Phone Mind Meld

Everyone has places to go, people to see, and the need to figure out how to get there. Navigation systems have been developed to help with the last bit (people and places are up to you), but still require you to have the address written down so you can enter it when you get down to the car. At least, that was the way of things until recently.

In a press release earlier this week, Pioneer announced the creation of an iPhone® application called AVIC FEEDS App to use with the AVIC-U310BT and AVIC-Z110BT in-dash navigation systems. The app is intended to allow the phone and navigation systems to connect to each other and pass information via the Bluetooth®.

For those of you lucky enough to be an owner of both, you are in for a treat or two. AVIC FEEDS App will allow users to search for points of interest or take photos, which are automatically geotagged, to be accessed later via the in-dash systems for those spur of the moment return visits.

This use of saved photos sounds like the better of the two features. Think of all the times you have been wandering around and seen some place that you just do not have the time to stop and see. Sure, you can probably remember the name of the place and/or the cross streets, but now you do not have to. Added bonus, you have a record of what the front looked like to confirm you found the place. Sounds good to me.

Oh, best of all, AVIC FEEDS App is free.

To browse Etronics’ selection of car navigations systems, check them out here.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bridging the gap between cellular and landline.

Cellular phones have been a major part of people’s lives for just over a decade now, and we are now at the point where landline phones are rarely used. A large portion of the rationale behind this is that, if there is even a landline in the house, we have all of our contact numbers in the cell phone, why go through the extra step of programming it into the phone? Well, Panasonic has a solution.

In a press release last week, Panasonic announced the KX-TG9382T, a first of its kind system that can transfer contacts from your cell phone to its own phonebook quickly and easily. Just follow the instructions down through the menu options and watch the progress as each entry flashes on the phone’s screen when it transfers.

If you are still paying for landline service, which I hope you are in case of your provider’s unexpected temporary failures, this system is a convenient way to keep your contacts handy, and a great back up should the battery on your phone die suddenly. Having a back-up plan is always important.

The KX-TG9382T is also equipped with the standard Panasonic motley of features like DECT 6.0 performance, Energy Star certification, 40-minute digital answering machine, etc. For full manufacturer details click here.

The unit will be available from Amazon and general retailers in early October in one (KX-TG9381T) or two (KX-TG9382T) headset bundles with SRPs of $169.95 and $229.95 respectively.

To browse Etronics’ selection of corded and cordless phones, check them out here.
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blu-Rays of Sunshine

Today, Pioneer announced three new entries in the HD home entertainment market; Blu-Ray players guaranteed to suit the needs of the most discerning home theater aficionado. The price tags on each will please the wallet a little too.

First up, the BDP-120 is a nice introduction to the Blu-Ray world, or an inexpensive second player for those wishing to add high definition players to other rooms of the house. While it does not boast any extra special features, it is a high quality player of Blu-ray, DVD, and CDs. This baby is available at a selected retail price of $299.

The BDP-320 is for those who want to customize their experience for optimal display and enjoyment. Between on-board circuitry to reduce video noise, and the Picture Control Suite, you are the master of what you see. This next step up in their offers has a retail price of $399.

The cream of the Pioneer crop, the Elite BDP-23FD, provides full home theater integration and functionality. Designed with connectivity with Pioneer A/V receivers and KURO flat panel displays for the ultimate in home theater experiences. This unit boasts a tag of $599.

All three of these beauties are equipped with USB ports for flash and hard drive connection to boost storage capacity of BD-Live interactive content that is often available through Blu-Ray disks. Pioneer states these units are currently for sale at many retailers.

View’s selection of Blu-Ray DVD players here.
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sony vs. Amazon: Sony has numbers on their side.

Amazon’s Kindle gets a lot of press across the Blogosphere and news boards these days, with the occasional mention of iRex, Sony, and other companies who produce, or are working on digital readers for the consumer market. Well, today is a day to talk about Sony.

In a Press release today, Sony announced its partnership with Google to provide public domain titles to their e-book shop at As the press release states, a button on the shops homepage would lead users to Google’s resource of over a half million public domain titles; the best part being, those books are free.

Five hundred thousand free books; the classics from your time in school, the books you loved, the books you hated, all at your beckon-call. Google’s repository of titles alone it twice that of what Amazon is presently able to offer, that alone is enough to sway favor toward the Sony reader.

This extensive library just adds to the already standard features of text size selection, music player, and multiple file format support for personal documents. I think with all that put together, Sony can actually make me forget the joy of physically turning a page.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

iBoo is coming for you!

Just some things smack me right in the nostalgia button, Speakal’s iBoo is one of them. The company creates speakers that are functional as well as cute, but their ghost came out looking like it should be trying to consume a yellow circle with a mouth. Have to wonder if it was just a random chance, or purposeful planning.

At $89.99, they are actually the cheapest of Speakal’s products, but the difference can probably be attributed to their being two speakers short and with a less powerful subwoofer than the others.

Still, this seems like an item more concerned with form than function. The sound quality needs to be good to be worth it, but there are no expectations of it sounding like the Metropolitan Opera House.

Pick it up from the Speakal shop in blue, red, or white to add a little dork couture to your abode.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dell Wasabi, hot or not?

Dell released a highly portable ZINKtm printer today, which they have dubbed the Wasabi. This tiny printer will interface with your digital camera or Bluetooth enabled cell phone to print 2” x 3” pictures on the spot. A fast and convenient means of getting hard copies of captured moments, but is it worth it?

Printed images are borderless, and on adhesive-backed photo paper; making them ideal for decorating surfaces, or eliminating a step in creating that book of special memories. In addition, since there is no ink, the image will not run if the photo gets wet.

The best feature about this printer is the complete portability of it. At a mere 8 oz. including the battery, you could carry the thing around all day and not really notice.

As far as battery life and paper capacity go, they are pretty much in line with each other. The unit can hold 12 sheets of paper at a time, while the battery is good for around 15 prints per charge.

Presently, the unit comes in pink, black, and blue; you would think with a name like Wasabi that green would be an option. Selling for a promotional price of $99 at, it will be returning to the regular price of $149 in the near future. Add to this the price of the special ZINKtm paper (click here to see what is so special about it) and this product may not really pull its weight in the end.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Condense the mess you carry with you

CES is a great place to hear about the advancements in the world of electronics, but sometimes it is the things without a single circuit that are the most useful. The Earbud Yo-Yo, invented by Julie Johnson Barkley, and licensed to Covington Creations LLC for production, provides a much-needed solution to the present problem of tangled headphones.

I can’t count the number of people I see every morning struggling to untangle the ball of audio wire that their headphones have become. Some of them have the misfortune of having to drop the tangle back into their bag to make their connection, just to start all over again later.

There are the select few who coil their headphones around the MP3 player, but this is not a perfect solution either. The headphones can come loose in your bag and end up tangled anyway. Another issue with coiling the headphones around the player is the stress those hard corners put on the wires.

The Earbud Yo-Yo is designed to avoid all of this hassle and prevent he wear and tear from the hard edges. With a simple design shape of a square yo-yo [hence the name] your headphones stay in place, and the wire is cushioned upon itself.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Auditory gold from around the world

Tivoli Audio, a leading maker of stereo products, has yet another award winning product to their name. The NetWorks Global Audio system recently received the Consumer Electronics Innovations 2009 Design and Engineering Award. Full press release from Tivoli Audio can be found here.

What does this all mean? Well, I don’t know about you, but standard American radio seems a bit lacking. Sure, you can stream internet radio to your computer, but the audio quality there leaves something to be desired. Even with wires, plugging your audio out to some good speakers or an amplifier the sound could be better.

Tivoli Audio’s NetWorks audio system takes care of the fidelity issues, and then some. Listen to stations from around the world, or stream music files from your computer via a wireless or Ethernet connection.

Another feature to make note of is the SupperBuffer™ which, according to Tivoli, “virtually eliminates Internet radio station dropouts.” That is certainly music to my ears, audiophile that I am.
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High Definition streamed into your home.

With everything going High Definition lately, as innovative as Roku’s Netflix player is, its standard definition is a little behind. At least, it was. Roku, Inc. announced yesterday that they have released support for streaming HD content. Full press release can be found here.

Bearing a price tag of just $99, significantly less than the average Blu-ray player, this advance in Roku’s set-top box is a beautiful thing that will not empty your wallet. Best of all, if you already own the Roku player, the software update will be delivered to you automatically and free of charge. Can it get any better?
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