The digital man

He lives in the now, in technology’s golden summer, a world in which slick, powerful gadgets complement every aspect of our lives. Whether at home, work or play, Digital Man is on the leading edge—he’s slick, fully-loaded and immaculately informed.

Print Edition: May 31, 2009

He lives in the now, in technology’s golden summer, a world in which slick, powerful gadgets complement every aspect of our lives. Whether at home, work or play, Digital Man is on the leading edge—he’s slick, fully-loaded and immaculately informed. Welcome to his world.

At work
The office is where Digital Man gets slick. We’re talking state-of-the-art, 21st century global citizen—fast, connected, creative. He’s got the MacBook, the Pearl Flip, the Logitech speakers with the juicy bass. He’s got the most humungous hard drive in creation and a cheeky little projector for those power point presentations. In the office, Digital Man slays all comers.

1. Apple MacBook Pro In a crowded market, the new MacBook Pro is still the last word in stylish, multimedia laptops. The battery gives you an astounding eight hours of use, with the capacity for about 1,000 recharges. The LEDbacklit display saves up to 30 per cent energy, a sleek anti-glare screen protects your eyes and it’s the thinnest in the 17-inch category. You can’t fault the processors (the latest Intel Core 2 Duo) or the 32 GB hard drive. Add to this great graphics, thanks to the NVIDIA integrated graphics and you have, in effect, a great worker with great looks.
Price: Rs 1,48,800+taxes
Website: www.apple.com

2. BlackBerry Pearl Flip As far as smart phones go, the BlackBerry still has no equal. So, while many of the basic functions remain the same—SureType keyboards for easier typing, built-in Wi-Fi, 2 megapixel camera—the USP here is the flip. While it protects the keyboard and screen within, it also has a nifty external display for previewing calendar reminders, e-mails, text messages and phone calls.
Price: Rs 21,990
Website: www.blackberry.com

3. Western Digital Caviar Green 2.0 TB Hard Drive As operating systems get larger, files grow bigger, and there’s more data than you can handle without going insane, data storage becomes paramount. Gone are the days of the puny 320 GB and 500 GB external hard drives. The recently-launched 2 TeraByte hard drive—that’s about 2,000 GB—can store, for example, close to 200 dual layer DVDs. So whatever you throw at it, you’ll just be scratching the surface. What’s more, the IntelliSeek algorithm in the drive lowers power consumption, vibration and noise.
Price: Rs 14,950
Website: www.wdc.com

4. BenQ Short Throw Projector The problem with projectors is they rarely work well in small spaces. All that can change now that BenQ has come up with these short throw projectors which work brilliantly in even a small room. It also comes with a pair of 5 MW speakers and other nifty features like presentation timer, quick auto search, quick cooling, and onscreen FAQs if you’re stuck.
Price: Rs 50,000
Website: www.benq.co.in

5. Logitech X-210 PC Speakers You don’t need a state-of-the-art music system in your office. But you do need good sound definition and a decent subwoofer. Look no further than Logitech, probably the best PC speaker on the market. This one, with its full, rich sound, and full undistorted bass, is just the thing.
Price: Rs 2,695
Website: www.logitech.com

6. Samsung ML2245 Printer When looking for a printer, you should consider three things—ease of use, ink wastage and print quality. The ML2245 ticks all the boxes and is attractively priced, too. It isn’t a colour printer, but its small size and easy handling more than makes up for this. The drum and toner on this printer is separate, which means that printing costs are lower and no ink gets wasted. Print quality is high and it’s fast, too, at 22 pages per minute.
Price: Rs 6,999
Website: www.samsung.com

7. Sandisk USB Pen Drive No matter how sleek your laptop, it makes no sense to lug it around if you can fit your data onto a pen drive the size of your thumb. Sandisk’s 16 GB pen drive not only has the capacity, but where some pen drives will conk out after a while, this lasts longer than most.
Price: Rs 2,499
Website: http://in.sandisk.com

Going domestic
There’s more to gadgets than handsets and laptops. Why, did you think that Digital Man uses a regular toothbrush?

1.Philips Sonicare Rechargeable Sonic Toothbrush Since no two people are the same, Philips has created an electric toothbrush which adapts to different needs. There are two contoured brush head sizes and cleaning speeds and a 30-second interval timer to make sure you brush evenly in all areas.
Price: £130

2. Panasonic Electric Shaver This ergonomic shaver fits snug in the hand and boasts a pop-up trimmer for your sideburns and moustache. Plus, the Angle Head feature catches the tiniest of hairs.
Price: Rs 3,750

3. Salon Pro Hairdryer from Philips The 1,500-watt Salon Pro has the kind of industrial blast you want from a hairdryer. None of your wimpy rubbish here. With a multiplicity of different heat and speed settings, not to mention ion conditioning, hair damage is minimised.
Price: Rs 2,195

4. Inalsa Hand Blender and Chopper It blends, it chops, it’s slick and silver and comes with a detachable stainless steel shaft. What’s more, it packs a real punch with a 300-watt motor.
Price: Rs 2,195

5. Morphy Richards Coffee Maker with Frother With the Café Rico, you can select your coffee strength, your flavour and, for a final flourish, it comes with a frother that heats and froths milk to your liking.
Price: Rs 4,395

6. Osim uSqueez Combining foot reflexology, acupressure and modern technology, Osim uSqueez is just what the doctor ordered for your feet. Four pairs of kneading discs penetrate deep into the muscles and firmly squeeze and energise your calves and ankles. Stimulating vital acupressure points, they soothe away strain and stiffness.
Price: Rs 23,000

7. Vu Waterproof LCD TV This 15” waterproof LCD TV can withstand any squirts or splashes, so it’s perfect for your bathroom or kitchen. The accompanying full-function remote (water-resistant) is slim and tidy, too. Now, there’s no missing the latest news or that nail-biting match.
Price: Rs 48,000

Chilling out
Welcome to the den. Here’s where Digital Man kicks back, cocooned by a plethora of entertainment options. No jumbles of wires, no cumbersome stacks of black boxes—those days are over. Digital Man knows you can be wired and stylish at the same time. And he knows that his friends envy him. They’d rather hang out on his couch than be at home with their families. And Digital Man doesn’t mind. He knows his house rocks.

1. Philips Cineos 52PFL9703 TV The big TV just got bigger. This gargantuan 52-inch screen offers brilliant colours and full HD, so Blu-ray discs are go. And if you’re a gamer, the contrast and resolution is superb. To be fair, Blu-ray is the preferred format, but it plays HD DVDs like a dream, too. Other nifty features include an USB port. But make sure you have enough room for it—it’s a monster.
Price: Rs 2,24,990
Website: www.philips.com

2. Xbox 360 The Xbox 360 and the Sony Playstation 3 tend to cancel each other out on several counts—from the HD DVD vs Blu-ray (Xbox vs Playstation) debate to the number of titles available. Sure, Blu-ray holds more information, hence better quality pictures, sound and graphics. But the discs are expensive, which means there are fewer games—thousands fewer—on Blu-ray than on DVD. Furthermore, the HD DVD format is far from being defunct, so there are plenty more games coming out in this format. That’s why we’re opting for the Xbox. It’s even a decent music player.
Price: Rs 17,000
Website: www.xbox.com

3. Samsung Pebble DVD Player A portable DVD player—who doesn’t want one of those? This new Samsung Pebble is an ultra compact HD DVD player, about as small as the old CD players, and it can play various formats. The minimalist design and simple touch-sensitive controls are a joy.
Price: Rs 17,000
Website: www.samsung.com

4. Sony HTSF2300
Home Theatre System There’s a world of competition here, worthy competition, too, but if you take three simple criteria—sound quality, the formats supported and price point, then the Sony HTSF2300 runs away with it. Apart from the powerful 5.1 channel surround sound and 1,000 watts of total output from the five-speaker system, it uses three HDMI connections to bring together all multimedia needs.
Price: Rs 36,990
Website: www.sony.co.in

5. Pro-Ject Debut III/Phono SB If you like LPs and want to preserve the rich sounds of your treasured vinyls, this player has an USB port which allows you to digitise the music on your records and preserve them as MP3s or in other lossless formats. If you don’t own any LPs, now is a great time to start collecting.
Price: On request
Contact: Nova Audio Mumbai, (022) 2600 7700

6. ViewSonic PJD6210 Projector After years of being a strictly-foroffice gadget, the projector is making a big comeback as a great way to watch movies and pictures. This particular one is a light and portable one weighing only 2.4 kg—a great package of clarity and a long lamp-life. There’s even support for HDTV signals.
Price: Rs 55,000
Website: http://ap.viewsonic.com

7. Amazon Kindle 2 Yes, yes, the end of print—we got the memo. That’s why Digital Man uses this fantastic e-book reader from Amazon. It’s a portable reading device that can download books, blogs, magazines and newspapers. It beats the other e-readers because the Kindle is wireless. And it comes with a great selection of books. The reading screen is anti-glare, which means you can read even in direct sunlight and the electronic paper technology uses actual ink (transmitted electronically). The new generation Kindle is as thin as a magazine and holds over 1,500 books.
Price: $359
Website: www.amazon.com

On the move
When Digital Man aims to burn up the road, he does it with style, panache and a dazzling array of gadgets.

1. Sony MEX-BT3600U Car CD Tuner
Sony’s new in-car CD tuner has it all— USB and Bluetooth, front aux-in interfaces and a quick-search interface that lets you browse MP3 media and supports hands-free through the car stereo.
Price: Rs 11,990
Website: www.sony.co.in

2. Apple iPod Classic
The first and arguably the best MP3 player in the world, with buckets of space (120 GB) that can handle about 30,000 songs. Apart from music, you can play games and watch up to 150 hours of video.
Price: Rs 13,000+taxes
Website: www.apple.co.in

3. Samsung VP-HMX20C Camcorder
Recording movies on a 1080P format with vivid colours, you can shoot around 70 minutes of footage at a go on its 8 GB memory (there’s provision for an additional 4 GB of memory, too).
Price: Rs 59,900
Website: www.samsung.com/in/

4. Nintendo DSi Portable Console
If you’re tired of the music and stuck in an airport with hours of boredom staring at you, try this slinky little gaming console. Play dual screen, card-based games and browse or play games online. It includes a webcam, too. Pretty unbeatable.
Price: Rs 9,000
Website: www.nintendodsi.com

5. Nokia 6710 Navigator Phone
As far as GPS-enabled phones go, this one’s hard to beat. Powered by Nokia Maps 3.0 and possessing a digital compass and a zoom bar, you’ll never get lost while driving. And if that’s not all, the phone also has a 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. A true road warrior.
Price: Rs 20,000 (approx.). Soon to be released in India.
Website: www.nokia.co.in

6. Canon Powershot SX200
The 12.1 MP SX200 takes surprisingly good high resolution pictures for its size. It has an impressive 12x zoom and an Intelligent Contrast Correction feature.
Price: $350
Website: www.canon.co.in

7. Nikon D90 Digital SLR camera
The undisputed champion in the heavyweight category is undoubtedly the D90. It packs a punch with its 12.3 MP DX format CMOS sensor and a 3.0 inch LCD display.
Price: Rs 81,900
Website: www.nikon.co.in

8. Sony Vaio P
A cross between a smart phone and a laptop, the new P series is a looker. It’s just 19.8 mm thick, plastic and weighs less than 600 gm. Nonetheless, this is a tough little machine, ideal when you need a computer on the go.
Price: Rs 42,000
Website: www.sony.co.in

On the phone
The modern handset is the mother of all gadgets. Not only does it do everything—games, TV, Internet, music, video—but it’s evolving fast and transforming our lives at a fearsome pace. The trouble is, the handset market is also utterly bewildering. Whole magazines are devoted to making sense of the myriad options available, and we know you haven’t got time for all that. So, we’ve made a selection.

1. Vertu Pure
The legend of the Vertu phone—the scratchless sapphire screen, handmade by craftsmen, the data back up in a bunker in England—now has a new chapter. In a first for handsets, the Vertu Pure combines high-tech coloured ceramic with fine leather. The colouring process takes about two years and like all Vertu pieces, all ceramic parts have been manufactured individually in order to achieve the ideal size and the ultimate alignment. The result is a modern, elegant piece, pure and striking in its simplicity. You don’t buy a Vertu for the functions, you buy it because you can.
Price: Rs 4,44,971
Website: www.vertu.com

2. Samsung Pixon M8800
Probably the best mobile entertainment handset on the market—the functionality is dizzying. This is India’s first 8 megapixel touch screen camera phone and has all the perks of a digital camera—advanced shake reduction, blink detection, smile and face detection. The 3G Pixon comes with a touch screen Qwerty keyboard and on-screen handwriting recognition for e-mails and messages. The TouchWiz user interface makes for intuitive tap, sweep, drag and drop operations. From high quality image and video capture, to sharing them with your loved ones, this one combines the very best in mobile entertainment.
Price: Rs 28,750
Website: www.samsung.com

3. Nokia E75
The ultimate push mail device for the man on the move, Nokia’s E75 can support as many as 16 e-mail accounts. And they’re easy to set up. The intuitive user interface comes in two customisable home screen modes for business and personal use. It displays alerts for up to two e-mail accounts on the home screen and navigating between separate accounts is a breeze.
Price: Rs 23,999
Website: www.nokia.co.in

4. HTC Touch HD
The all-singing, all-dancing multimedia handset integrates a large 3.8 inch Widescreen VGA display (WVGA), a standard 3.5 mm audio jack and a 5 megapixel camera with auto focus. What’s not to like? The touch screen offers stunning clarity, so it’s great for movies, browsing the Internet or flipping through photos. Touch HD also features the spiffy new TouchFLO 3D user interface for quick access to contacts, messages and content.
Price: Rs 41,990
Website: www.htc.com

5. LG Cookie
The most affordable of all touch screen phones, the LG KP500 or Cookie is packed with dynamic features. Slim and sleek, it comes with a 3 megapixel camera, motion sensor games and a friendly user interface. The Qwerty onscreen keyboard slides into view when the LG KP500 is held horizontally, and it automatically rotates images or documents when you turn the handset. With an internal memory of 48 MB and a 1 GB micro SD card for storing favourite music and videos, this is a smart buy.
Price: Rs 13,500
Website: www.in.lge.com

Text by Bibek Bhattacharya and Anumeha Chaturv

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