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Posts tagged “Touch-screen

Gadgets & Accessories: Must-have and Good-to-have

If you believe in living your life to the maximum or making a personal statement, then these are some über-cool gadgets and accessories you should try to get your hands on.

MULTIMEDIA SPEAKERS: I’ve always disliked music systems, because they brag about peak audio output and constrain you to in-built players/radio. Purchasing a separate multimedia speaker set, which can be wired to almost about any audio source—laptop, mobile phone, television—provides a lot of flexibility. A 2.1 speaker set w/ two 2-way speakers for mid-range & treble and one dedicated sub-woofer for bass is a good choice. 40 watts RMS is a minimum you should buy if you really want to enjoy music/movies. I recommend the Altec Lansing MX6021 w/ 200 watts RMS. It has 68 watts RMS on the sub-woofer and 66 watts RMS on each of the 2-way channel speakers. Compared to the Logitech Z623, which is also 200 watts RMS, MX6021 has divided approx. 130 watts RMS equally between the sub-woofer and mid-range that will give you high-quality vocals w/ bass. (Must-have)

SMARTPHONE: Nowadays, everyone has an internet-enabled mobile phone w/ 3G or 4G capabilities. But, is that it? You’re not getting the most from your phone if it doesn’t have:

  • Syncing and saving contacts, calendars online
  • Tethering your phone over USB or as a Wireless Access Point (WAP) to connect your laptop to the mobile internet
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • USB-based charger
  • External memory storage capacity of 32 GB or more
  • Quad-band GSM (2G) and, at least, Dual-band 3G
  • Assisted-GPS (A-GPS) for accurate map locations
  • Mobile tracker for tracing after phone theft
  • FM radio

I personally use the Samsung Duos. It has dual SIM capability, so I don’t have to carry two separate handsets when I travel to other countries—all I do is plug in the new SIM in the phone’s 2nd slot. I’ve also become a fan of the open-source Android OS and the microSD card functionality, because I feel that Apple and other competitors are trying to handicap you w/ syncing software like iTunes and using DRM. “Drag and drop” of files over USB/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi and FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) upgrades are awesome features that give you a lot of “mobility.” (Must-have)

LED FLASHLIGHT: Every household has a flashlight, but not necessarily an LED one. LED flashlights are becoming the norm for automotive headlights and several other indsutry applications. They are very efficient compared to their predecessors and have a visible range of few miles! I recommend the T-series range of LED flashlights from Inova. These have a range of 100’s of meters and visibility of few miles. They have a rugged metallic body and were initially manufactured for use by the military. The best thing is that Inova provides a lifetime warranty wherein if your flashlight stops working, you can get it replaced anytime! (Must-have)

SUNGLASSES: Whether you drive a car or walk, it’s terribly hard to go out during the day without sunglasses. Very few pay attention to technicalities beyond aesthetic details. Today, almost all decent pairs of sunglasses have some sort of UV protection. But, only a select few have polarized lenses. Polarized lenses protect your eyes from harsh reflections from shiny and metallic surfaces. Though polycarbonate lenses have become popular, I still prefer glass lenses for their durability and relatively superior scratch-resistance. Only a few like Ray-Ban offer glass lenses. Ray-Ban’s Warrior are great wraparounds and they also have gradient tint in brown. (Good-to-have)

TOUCH-SCREEN WATCH: If you thought only mobile phones and computers can have touch screens, you thought wrong. Kenneth Cole New York came out with their slick collection of touch-screen watches few years back. All of the controls for 32 time zones, alarm, timer, backlight, etc. are a tap away! The coolest part is that they have an inverted black-and-white digital display. (Good-to-have)

CAR SUB-WOOFER & AMPLIFIER: Ever wondered that there’s juice missing in your car stereo’s music? Because, whether you’re an audiophile or not, you’ll realize that the car stereo, like a home theater system, needs a sub-woofer and an amplifier. To get that bass punch out of the stereo, a sub-woofer with at least 200 watts RMS is recommended. Pioneer, Sony, and JBL offer good starter sub-woofers, while MTX, Kicker, and Infinity offer premium range sub-woofers. Obviously, you can’t run a sub-woofer without an amplifier! A mono (single channel) amplifier will give that much-needed power boost to your sub. Again, the same manufacturers also provide the associated amplifiers. (Good-to-have)

UNIVERSAL POWER ADAPTER: Do you travel a lot? And give up on hunting for compatible power outlets? This is the gadget you’ve been yearning for, but haven’t had luck with or ran out of it after purchasing unreliable ones. The World Travel Pro+ adapter (aka World Travel Adapter 3 in some countries) from Skross of Switzerland is the perfect companion for powering any/all devices, literally, anywhere in the world! It has 3-pole inlet sockets and outlet pins for US/UK/Europe/Japan/Australia/China, you name it. And it can connect to 100-250V power outlets, powering devices up to 2200 watts. (Must-have)

USB PHONE CHARGER: The ReTrak USB 4-in-1 charger, I think, is probably one of the most innovative products around. Using this, you can charge up to two smartphones either through a wall outlet or a 12V car power outlet! The best part is that it supports global voltages of 100-240 V, and all of its pins either retract or have a cap, making it very suitable for travel. (Must-have)

Hope you found this post interesting and utilitarian! In my future posts, I’ll talk about must-have personal care products.