What’s not to love about the latest technology and the hottest trendy products? Our Cutting Edge section keeps you on the vanguard of electronic wizardry with our featured gallery of gadgets that are newly launched or coming soon to a store or website near you.
S IS FOR STEP-UP
The Apple iPhone 4S ($199-$399) may look the same but it is packed with improvements. This is the first iPhone built to intelligently switch between two antennas, which should improve call quality. One new feature is Siri, which turns your phone into a personal assistant. Just ask your iPhone a question or give it a command, such as “Tell my wife I am running late,” and it will send her a text. Or ask, “Do I need an umbrella?” for a quick weather report. The phone is also faster and more powerful, with a dual-core A5 processor, and the camera was upgraded to 8-megapixel resolution.
MORE THAN HOT AIR
Winter is approaching and you may be on the lookout for something to keep you warm on those cold nights. The Dyson Hot ($400) uses the Air Multiplier technology of Dyson fans to project hot air farther than conventional heaters in order to heat the whole room faster. This heater also oscillates to make sure the whole room is heated evenly and precise temperature controls keep the room’s temp right where you want it. The Dyson Hot does not collect dust in the heating elements, so there is no burning smell, and the heater will automatically turn off if it tips over.
THE KINDLE FAMILY
Amazon has released its new family of e-readers. The revamped Kindle ($79) is smaller and lighter, but still has a 6-inch screen. The Kindle Touch ($99 for WiFi and $149 for 3G) also features a sleek design but has a multi-touch display along with some other new features including X-Ray, which lets you easily explore the “bones of the book”—a single tap reveals all the passages that mention certain ideas, characters, topics of interest, and more. Finally, the Kindle Fire ($199) offers more than just eBooks with TV shows, movies, and magazines in vibrant colors on its 7-inch touchscreen. The Fire also lets you surf the web on Amazon Silk, a “revolutionary, cloud-accelerated” browser.
TOUCH AND TYPE
The ASUS Eee Pad Slider ($479-$579) combines portability with efficiency. This Android Honeycomb tablet easily converts into a notebook with a simple slide to reveal a built-in QWERTY keyboard for more comfortable—and faster—typing . The pre-installed Polaris Office provides a professional mobile office solution to edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Another useful pre-loaded app is MyCloud, which lets you access digital content from the cloud or remotely access and control PC or Mac systems. The Eee Pad Slider is not all work and no play—the 10.1-inch LED-backlit display, with an ultra-wide 178 degree viewing angle, is great for watching HD videos.
Sony has thrown its hat into the tablet ring with the Sony Tablet S ($500-$600) outfitted with Sony’s TruBlack technology on the 9.4-inch display, which controls the refraction of light between the LCD and the screen to provide deeper blacks and more vibrant colors. Other Sony features on this Android Honeycomb tablet include access to PlayStation games, Reader eBooks, and music and movies through Sony Entertainment Network. The tablet is also ergonomically designed to fit in your hand with its center of gravity shifted toward the palm—making it feel lighter and more comfortable as you read a book or watch a movie.