The 2011 Gift Guide For Guys

 

 GAMING | ADVENTURE | BACHELOR PAD | MOBILE OFFICE | FITNESS 

Whether it's to help you get ahead at work, improve your online gaming score, help you get fit, or even to impress that babe you've brought home, these are some of the best gadgets that money can buy. 


GAMING GEAR
Game on with these toys and tools that will get your pulse racing.

These are great times for gamers. The proliferation of devices – consoles,  mobile phones, laptops and even dedicated desktops – has expanded the gaming universe, allowing aficionados to indulge anytime, anywhere. 

 
Sandisk Ultra Solid State Drive
If you need to save your patched game for re-installation later, do it on the Ultra. Unlike conventional disk drives, it has no moving parts, so it lasts longer and consumes less  power. The drive reads up to 280MB per second and writes up to 270MB per second, offering blazingly fast data-transfer rates. This translates into faster start-up times, while  applications launch quicker as well. Best of all, it offers long-term reliability – up to one  million hours, claims Sandisk. Now, that’s a helluva long time in the gaming universe.

From $230
 
Razer Mamba 2012
This latest iteration isn’t a cheap remake of the original Mamba gaming mouse. It’s armed with a fourth-generation dual-sensor that allows for faster and precise tracking. This means both laser and optical sensor are utilised for calibrating to different surfaces, and allow adjustment of lift-off tracking distance. Battery life is bumped up to 16 hours of continuous usage. Plus, it’s decked with leading-edge gaming-gradewireless technology, firmly putting it in a league of its own.

Price $199
 
Asus G73SW 
We wonder if the folks at Asus drew inspiration from the F-117 stealth bomber when they designed the G73SW. Its matte black finish is understated, yet projects a menacing look. No wonder, for it has a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor under the hood, and 8GB of fast DDR3 RAM, plus an Nvidia Geforce GTX 460M with 1.5GB dedicated frame buffer – a pretty dandy gaming machine indeed. The laptopalso comes with a sizeable 17.3-inch LED-backlit liquid-crystal display that has 1920x1080 pixel resolution. While the machine is hefty, its list of features more than compensates. There’s a Bluray writer, built-in web camera, card reader, HDMI port and four USB ports. For those who have some cash to splash, there’s even a 3-D version that costs just $100 more.

Price $2,698
 
 
HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix  
The Phoenix is a beast built for performance, To highlight this point, it even comes with an illuminated side window that lets you peer into its innards. It’s packed with all that a gamer needs to frag friends and foes into oblivion: 16GB of DDR3 system memory, a high-end discrete graphics card and an Intel Core i7-2600 processor. There’s also a 1.6TB hard drive, which is expandable up to a whopping 9TB. Sound-wise, the Phoenix features Beats Audio technology that pumps out more powerful, clean and clear sound from the discrete headphone amplifier. To take full advantage of its rich sound, we suggest you get a pair of Dr Dre Beats Audio headphones. If you are a serious enthusiast, this is one gaming rig that you will want to get your hands on. 

Price $2,599 

 

 
Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle
When it comes to motion sensor for game consoles, the Kinect for Xbox 360 is still king  of the hill. Nothing even comes close to its full-body, 3-D motioncapturing and facial- recognition capabilities. The Kinect uses an infrared projector that detects your movements, even in low-light settings. In fact, the technology is so cutting-edge that  some innovative students from Temasek Polytechnic used it in a project to diagnose the severity of conditions in stroke patients. This is achieved by measuring the patients’  range of movements using the Kinect. 

Price $469

 
Bose Companion 20 Speakers
Enhance your gaming experience with the sleek Companion 20. They reproduce full,  natural sound whether you’re centimetres away from the screen or across the room. Games come alive with striking clarity and impressive low notes, regardless of the  volume setting. In case you think this is achieved with a subwoofer, you’re wrong – there isn’t one. The speakers’ port design and powerful drivers do all the work, pumping out powerful bass for a rich sound that adds depth to your games, music and videos.
 
Price $539
 
 
Razer Anansi
 
Bid farewell to days of fumbling with your awkward key binds in the middle of a hectic  boss fight. The Anansi is the world’s first keyboard that lets you increase by seven times the number of commands you are able to execute from your current 12 ability keys.  In-game, this means you can exponentially expand the repertoire of spells, abilities and macros. Whether you’re a hardcore raider or casual MMO gamer, the keyboard will give you the edge in both Player Versus Environment (PVE) and Player Versus Player (PVP) conflicts.

Price $159 
 
 
HP X2301 Micro Thin LED Monitor 
A powerful gaming rig needs the right monitor to match. For that, look no further than  the x2301. Its svelte profile is simply gorgeous. It boasts LED backlighting that illuminates the display and edges around the screen. Performance-wise, it has full high-definition resolution, fast response time and a high-dynamic contrast ratio. All these  take for images on screen that are crisp, sharp and finely detailed. For added visual effect, this slender baby comes mounted on a translucent aquamarine base stand. What a looker!

Price $399
 
 
Dell Alienware M17x 3D 
The M17x is Alienware’s first 3-D capable laptop. If you truly wish to soup it up, throw  in the top-range Nvidia GTX 580M graphics card and Alienware 3D Vision kit. What  you’ll get is mind-blowing frame rates for your games, even in 3-D mode, and at high resolutions. At the moment, there are up to 400 titles in stereoscopic 3-D. Old-school gamers can take heart, though, for most old games still work even with the 3-D mode on. The machine also comes with an HDMI port that allows you to connect audio and video from a Blu-ray player. What really surprised us was the incredible bass from the M17x’s stereo speakers – all thanks to its built-in subwoofer.

From $3,499

 GAMING | ADVENTURE | BACHELOR PAD | MOBILE OFFICE | FITNESS 

 

ADVENTURE GEAR
Gear and gadgets that take whatever your adventures throw at them.

For an adventure that's truly extraordinary, you need the right equipment to tackle everything that comes your way. From an incredible GPS-enabled weatherproof digital camera for snagging those picture- perfect moments when you reach a mountain’s summit, to a brilliantly clever watch that  helps you navigate during your expedition, you’ll find all you need to set out for your quest. Question is: Are you game?

Sony Dev-5
Talk about making bird watching a sexy pastime. These binoculars are the world’s first digital ones that record in full highdefinition with stereo sound. If you’re the sort that enjoys reliving every scene captured, you’ll love the 3-D record mode that offers stereoscopic video capture for viewing pleasure on a 3-D TV. These binos pack serious zoom power as well: Their variable zoom scans a wide area at low magnification before honing in on the subject. With digital zoom on, you can boost magnification by up to 20  times. In the event that you’re afflicted with a serious bout of the shakes in the field, fret not. The Dev-5 is armed with Sony’s Steadyshot stabilisation system that will keep images clear, even when you’re viewing your target at high magnifications.
 
Price $2,599


Samsung W200

Capture your next jungle jaunt in full highdefinition glory with the multi-proof W200. This rugged pocket cam ably withstands water, dust and shock. You’ll totally dig its ability to capture outstanding underwater videos (to depths of 3m) with just a few tweaks of the settings. The W200’s antiwater drop coating keeps the LCD screen condensation-free, while its lens has a layer of anti-fog coating, so that all your videos are captured clear and sharp. When you need to transfer or share your footage, simply pull out the built-in USB arm and plug it into a laptop. Sporting a 5- megapixel Cmos sensor and f2.2 Bright lens, you’re assured of crystal-clear recordings anywhere, anytime.

Price $299


Dry-Doc Waterproof Shock & Aqua Protection

Let’s face it: We can’t live without our iPads. That ubiquitous slab of aluminium and glass provides endless hours of mindless fun. But it’s a tough call when you’ve to leave it at home just because you’ve lined up a trekking expedition into the wilderness. Then again, you could always splash a little cash (and we do mean little) on the Dry-doc. Its thick outer neoprene case provides ample protection from knocks, while the inner sleeve effectively keeps water at bay. What you have is a double shield that protects your precious iPad and allows you to take it along for the trip with peace of mind. 

Price $48


Philips O'Neill "The Stretch"

Yes, the name does seem a little daft – yet it’s anything but. This pair of headphones looks great, is absolutely comfortable to wear, and doesn’t sound half bad either. Its rugged construction will shrug off a lot of punishment, no matter the beating it takes. 

Of note is the plastic used for its assembly. Called TR55LX, it’s a mouthful. But  hat’s unique about the material is that it has six times the surface hardness of polycarbonate. Also, it will keep its cool, so to speak, in temperatures as low as minus-25 deg C. The cable is also tanglefree. And even if it snaps, you need not worry: Its main length is separate from the headphones, connected to a short stretch on the left ear cup.

Price $119
 


Lenovo Ideapad U300s Ultrabook
We aren’t sure what sort of adventurer brings a notebook along on his quest. But if you absolutely have to, you can do no worse than lug the U300s Ultrabook. It’s amazingly  slim at just 0.6 inches thick, and lightweight as well, because of its single-piece  aluminium shell. To prevent things from getting a little heated under the hood, the U300s has a one-of-a-kind Breathable Keyboard, an Intel technology that allows air to flow through it and out the sides and rear hinge. This 13.3- inch beauty comes with a second-generation Intel Core i7 processor and a speedy solid state drive that has 2.0 Rapiddrive SSD technology.

Price $1,899

E-Merse Dry Audio Case & Waterproof Earbuds
Just because you have what it takes to tackle the great outdoors, doesn’t mean your phone or MP3 is similarly endowed. Get them protected with the E-Merse Dry Audio Case. The idea is simple yet brilliant: A tough polyurethane body with two built-in windows for photography and visual access, plus an easy-to-use slide lock seal and additional Ziploc-style closure, which protects your gadget from water and sand. The case is submersible to 3m and comes with a built-in audio cable, so you can listen to your favourite tunes during your paddling adventures. Better yet, pair them with the waterproof headphones that will continue to work even after 24 hours of submersion in water. These headphones feature a durable cord and 3.5mm jack. Now, get ready to take a splash. 

Price $52.50
 
GOPRO Helmet Hero
Here’s an idea: Mount this micro camcorder to your helmet before you take your first skydiving jump. The Helmet Hero records in 1080p high-definition, but supports three  HD recording modes. In True HD mode, it has a 127- degree viewing angle, 30 frames per second and 16:9 aspect ratio – the only widescreen aspect ratio supported by DVD. It can also capture stills with its 5-megapixel CMOS sensor. It’s shockproof and weatherproof, too, in its polycarbonate exoskeletal housing. With up to 32GB of storage space, you won’t need to worry about running out of memory for all your footage.

Price $408 
 
The North Face Prophet 52
You’ll appreciate this toploading mountaineering pack for climbers who travel light and fast to reach for the summits. It has breathable, moulded E-Vap back panel foam to eliminate excess weight and help with air circulation. Its welded reinforcements and double fabric on its base help guard against wear from abrasion. There’s also an internal pocket for stowing a hydration reservoir (sold separately) for hands-free refuelling of liquid when you’re on the trail. The best feature of the pack is its assortment of expandable pockets, loops and attachments for which you can fasten your mountaineering gear securely. Don’t leave home without it, we say.

Price $376

Tunebug Shake
Being the active gadget maven, we bet you’ll dig this oddball that creates a surround sound experience when mounted on your helmet. It’s ultra-portable, water-resistant and fits most types of head gear. The folks at Tunebug explain that the speaker employs their patented Surfacesound technology, which lets sound waves pass through threedimensional surfaces (such as helmets), instantly turning them into audio speakers.
The speaker can be connected wirelessly to iPods, MP3 players or mobile phones through Bluetooth. Battery life is rated at five hours of playback. We reckon this is the best way to enjoy your music without dangerously isolating yourself from others and your surroundings, and run the risk of becoming roadkill during your cycling expedition.

Price $169

 GAMING | ADVENTURE | BACHELOR PAD | MOBILE OFFICE | FITNESS 

BACHELOR PAD
Impress any chick with these drool-worthy big boys' toys for your bachelor's pad.

Just because you live in a shoebox apartment doesn’t mean it’s got to look like a  squatter’s unit. With an eagle eye for good taste and smart accessorising, you can turn  your humble abode into the coolest bachelor pad ever. Yet, we aren’t advocates for form  over function. Here is our selection of functional yet drool-worthy stuff that will make  your home the destination of choice for a gathering. 


Sandisk Memory Vault
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and they will last a century with the Memory Vault.  No kidding, the company’s latest offering will hold your digital photos and videos for as long as you or your progeny live. Just store it away with precious heirlooms in a safe (if you have one). It uses solid-state technology to ensure optimum resilience to humidity, changes in temperature and shocks. Plus, Sandisk put it through a series of complicated lab tests to simulate conditions to which it’d be exposed to in the long term. Barring a nuclear holocaust with data-erasing electromagnetic pulses, it will weather the ravages of time pretty well (or at least better than its owners).
 
From $85 (8GB)

 

Samsung Omnipro Oven
With the Omnipro, whip up great meals that impress when you have friends over for dinner. It’s an intelligent oven with multi-sensor technology. This means it will determine the weight of the food being cooked and then adjust the cooking process to ensure optimum results. It trumps most ovens in the market, with 35 cooking options to cater to every preference. These range from a well-done steak to perfectly cooked vegetables. Lest you worry about the clean-up, rest assured because the oven has a steam cleaning function that dissolves food traces, while the antibacterial ceramic enamel interior is easy to wipe.

Price $1,599

 
Samsung Navibot Silencio
Cool homes deserve smart cleaning solutions, so meet the Navibot Silencio. This sleek-looking robot creates a map of your house with an on-board camera, then plots the optimum route to cover your entire floor area. It also memorises the fastest cleaning path,  calculates its exact location, and remembers where it has cleaned and what’s left to finish. Best of all, it’s quiet – you won’t even notice it going about its job. (That’s much more than we can say for the grumpy Significant Other, no?)

Price $1,099

 
Samsung D8000 HDTV
Larger-than-life price tag aside, the D8000 is a whopper of an HDTV – 60 inches in all. It provides true-to-life 2-D, 3-D and high-definition images in outstanding sharpness. The TV incorporates Samsung’s Ultra Clear Panel, a coating added to the front of the screen that reduces reflections while, at the same time, increasing the level of contrast. This was evident from the deep, piano-black levels and vibrant colour. The D8000 truly shines  with HD content from a games console, Blu-ray and 3-D. Other features include built-in Wi-fi and DLNA connectivity with other devices. Social media mavens will also dig it, as it comes with applications such as Facebook and Skype. Design-wise, it’s a looker: The TV sports a chic silvermetal bezel that lines its thin edges.

Price $8,888

 

Western Digital My Book Live
Why pay for cloud storage when you can have your own at home? The My Book Live personal cloud drive connects to your wireless router for shared storage on your home network. You can store your media and files on the drive and access them securely over the Internet. Or download the mobile apps for easy access with your tablet or smartphone. It’s like having up to 3TB of extra storage for your mobile device. The built-in media server streams music, photos and movies to any DLNA-certified multimedia device such as a network media player, Blu-ray player, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 or connected TV.

From $209 (1TB) 

Philips Air Fryer
Fried food junkies can now claim to be eating healthy with this marvellous machine. It fries food that gives the same sinfully satisfying taste, but minus 80 per cent of the fat. It uses a technology that circulates hot air (at temperatures of up to 200 deg C) within the  fryer, and combines this with a grill element to literally fry food. What you get is crispy, browned, air-fried eats – resulting from a reaction scientists call the Maillard effect. An  air filter diffuses odours, so your house won’t smell like a greasy kitchen. If you’ve got more dishes to prepare, you can even use an accessory that separates food, so you can cook multiple dishes at one go.

Price $409

Silit Sicomatic Econtrol Pressure Cooker
Health nuts will appreciate this powerfully fast cooker. The reason is it retains all the vitamins, minerals and aromas in your dishes. Essentially, the super-heated steam  produced by high temperatures inside the cooker cooks quickly and intensifies the natural flavours. This means you use less salt, sugar and seasonings, yet still obtain great taste. Since your food is cooked with steam, it is virtually fat-free. It saves up to 70 per cent in time, compared to conventional methods.

Price $359

Customaxx Roar
Clearly, its makers had only one thing in mind – for people to cruise in absolute style.  The Roar’s frame is constructed with twin-plated 6061-T6 aluminium, and powder- coated to midnight black. Its floating swing arms show off the rear wheel in its full glory. Speaking of wheels, this bike rolls on the widest tyres in the industry – 24 inches by 100mm. The makers have also thrown in a Sturmey Archer three-speed gear with shifting done via a lever. Only 100 units will be available every year, so you won’t see many on the roads.  Our verdict: Take this uber-cool cruiser bruiser home and make it an ornamental piece. Then invite friends over and watch how they gush about its fabulous design.

Price $3,600

Soul by Ludacris Headphones
Let’s get this clear: The Soul is anything but understated. First, consider the small tactile button on the inside. Its sole purpose is to toggle glowing white LED that illuminates the rims of the ear cups. Then there’s its body in a bright golden hue. But it’s not just all bling; it performs pretty good, too. The active noise cancellation is excellent and there’s a  deliberate bass push meant to simulate an active subwoofer common in music genres like hip-hop, R&B, rock and pop. While it’s pretty hefty, the Soul is extremely comfortable with its padded headband and ear cups. When you’re travelling, it folds neatly for stowing away in its case.

Price $599

HP Envy 110 All-In-One Printer
If you have a home office, this will meet your every printing need. The Envy allows you to print from virtually anywhere. Just customise the printer’s e-mail address, then send your photo or document to it and pick up the pages later. It comes with a high-resolution touch screen with gesturing capability, so that you can activate print, scan or copy functions by touch. Print speeds are commendable, too: It churns out 30 pages per minute
in black and white, and 25 in colour. Design-wise, the Envy is certain to evoke such feelings from people with its chic, white appearance and sleek profile.
 
Price $440

Gibson Firebird X Guitar
Whether you’re a serious enthusiast or just want to show off, the Firebird X is the techno-guitar to splash cash on. This ultra-light, effectsladen, self-tuning marvel is both a work of art and technological gem. Evolved from the iconic Gibson Firebird, the X has just a limited run of 1,800 units – sealing its destiny as a collector’s classic. The body features high-end wood finish that’s hand-applied. It’s packed with revolutionary features not seen in any electric axe today. An example: It emulates iconic guitar tones with analogue technology – not digital modelling – thanks to its carefully selected pick-up coil-switching choices.

Price US$5,570
 
Sony ICF-DS151P Clock Radio
Wake up to your favourite tunes with this spiffy-looking clock radio for your iPhone or iPod. Though diminutive, its sound quality is surprisingly good. Credit its Mega Bass and Mega Xpand sound technology that allow for larger output volume as well as clear sound. It’s designed to sit on the night stand – but it’s portable, so it can be moved anywhere you want to, when listening to tunes without headphones. The clock comes with a remote control, which lets you change tracks or turn off an annoying alarm from across the room.

Price $179

Samsung BD-D7500
Bafflingly small, this is the world’s slimmest Blu-ray disc player – yet it sports a large,  touch-sensitive control panel and copious, pulsating lights. Measuring just 23mm in height, the BD-D7500 packs class-leading features. For one, it comes with a 3-D converter that will turn photographs, movies and video clips into an immersive experience. While it’s a featherweight, its high-definition picture quality is undeniably punchy: Movie playback bristles with detail. There’s a pedestal stand for propping the player at a jaunty angle, or you can mount it on the wall. It comes with built-in Wi-fi. And following the simple-touse wizard, it is connected to the Internet in minutes. You can then surf to Samsung’s Smart Hub portal to download or stream content.

Price $499
 

GAMING | ADVENTURE | BACHELOR PAD | MOBILE OFFICE | FITNESS 
 


MOBILE OFFICE
Cutting-edge "weapons" that will empower you in your conquest of the business world.

We live in a global village – one that’s switched on and connected 24/7. Wheeling and dealing transcends geography and working on the go is the new norm. Having the right arsenal matters. So here’s a selection of “weapons” to keep you ahead of the competition.
 
Plantronics Calisto 825
Making the right calls can make or break a deal. With the Calisto 825, manage all your PC and mobile phone calls simultaneously. It’s compact, has an intuitive visual display panel and a touch-sensitive dial pad. Since time is money, the folks at Calisto have made sure that setting up is easy and fast: It takes less than five minutes to get the device running. You can then switch between mobile and PC calls, dial and mute across devices at the touch of a button. The 825 comes with a wireless lapel microphone that allows you to move about freely during a conference call. The unit is also equipped with echo- and noise-cancellation technology to give you unmatched audio quality.

Price $429

TDK Clef-P Earphones
Listening to music doesn’t only help lower stress levels when the going gets rough, but it can also enhance your focus and concentration. Have your favourite tunes piped into your ears with this pair of earphones from TDK. They come in three pre-tuned versions. The Vocal Tuning model, for instance, works best for jazz, acoustic or J-Pop music because it’s designed to enhance the vocals in audio recordings. Those whose musical tastes lean towards rock, Latin and live music should opt for the Live Tuning version. It provides an immersive music experience, as it is tuned for high-treble sounds. The third, the Mega Bass, adds more oomph to the bass. It’s perfect for electronic music and other genres that feature high-powered, low-frequency sounds.

Price: $49.90
 
Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1
Sometimes, even a wheeling and dealing corporate titan needs a break. For such moments of downtime, there’s the 0.74kg K1 to keep you entertained. It runs on the Android Honeycomb platform, and you get access to over 250,000 apps in Android Market as well as the Lenovo App Shop. There are more than 30 pre-loaded apps, including the ever-popular Angry Birds, and the full version of Documents To Go. What’s more, Lenovo’s exclusive Socialtouch app allows you to access all your social networks in one place. And, best of all, it comes with Flash support. There’s also a unique “Home” button that activates Lenovo’s Launch Zone application, which accesses your most frequently used apps.

Price: From $699

LG Optimus 3D
Bringing your entertainment with you on the go has never been easier. Watch your favourite 3-D movie or play three-dimensional games on the Optimus smartphone without the glasses. It boasts a 4.3- inch WVGA display and flicker-free images. Better yet, you can record highquality 3-D content to share via HDMI cable on your 3-D TV, or convert 2-D content into 3-D with free conversion software. Also, the phone’s dual-channel configuration allows for simultaneous data transfer between dual-core and dual-memory. This means smoother and faster browsing, gaming and multimedia enjoyment.

Price: $938 (without contract)
 

Jabra Freeway In-Car Speakerphone
Making your next sales call while driving is a joy with the Freeway. Forget about straining to hear calls on your current wimpy hands-free set-up because the Freeway offers exceptional sound for a speakerphone. In fact, you get surround sound, as there are three speakers providing what Jabra calls Virtual Surround. The speakerphone will read out the caller ID and you can command it by voice to answer or reject calls – all without taking your hands off the steering wheel. Normally, the audio quality of speakerphones is underwhelming, but music playback on the Freeway is surprisingly impressive, particularly on acoustic tracks. Audiophiles would definitely give this their stamp of approval.

Price $198

Geneva Sound System Model XS
When work is getting you bogged down, perk up by streaming a couple of upbeat tunes to the XS. It’s the world’s first portable audio system with true hi-fi sound. It comes in a leather-wrapped clamshell and is small enough to slip into your briefcase. Sound quality is impressive: A digital amplifier and stereo speakers hit the mid and high frequencies with accuracy, while a woofer delivers powerful bass responses below 80Hz. The XS also hides other qualities: an integrated digital FM radio tuner and alarm clock. The speaker’s battery life is also commendable – it lasted five hours with the volume at full blast.

Price: $299

Blackberry Bold 9900
At 10.5mm, the 9900 is the slimmest Blackberry yet. This smart-looking BB is powered by a 1.2GHz processor, runs on the new OS 7, and comes with a high-definition video camera. It has a capacitive and highly responsive 2.8-inch touch screen, with a sharp resolution of 640x480 pixels. We dare say the screen easily looks as good as anything with “Retina” display. The handset comes with generous memory options as well – there is 8GB of internal storage (expandable to 32GB) and 768MB of RAM. Lastly, BB mainstays such as a superbly tactile Qwerty keypad and top-security round off the key offerings.

Price: $888
 

Nokia N9
For those who appreciate elegance in design, the newly launched N9 is a shoo-in choice. The smartphone’s body is precision-machined from a single piece of polycarbonate and blends seamlessly with its 3.9-inch scratch-resistant, curved glass screen. But the phone isn’t just a looker: It’s the world’s first smartphone with Dolby Digital Plus decoding and Dolby Headphone technology, which gives you surround sound with any headphones. Frequent flyers will find the pre-loaded street maps for over 90 countries handy. Plus, there’s navigation assistance and free turn-by-turn drive and walk directions. In case you’re looking for the “Home” button, there’s none. Instead, a swipe is all it takes to bring you back to the “Home” screen. It also packs an
8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens that takes great pictures. Last but not least, the N9 comes with Near Field Communication, which allows you to, for instance, share content between devices when they touch each other.

Price: From $799
 

Blackberry Playbook
This seven-inch slab comes with quirky features like bridging to a Blackberry phone for secure e-mail. Its credentials as a business tool are affirmed with built-in viewers for spreadsheets and word processing files. We give it bonus points for being fast and nimble when handling processing tasks, thanks to its dual-core 1GHz processor. While it won’t put your digital SLR into retirement just yet, we reckon its 5-megapixel camera is decent enough for snapshots on the go. The Playbook features a crisp 1200x600 resolution and is a lightweight 425g.

Price: From $668
 

Canon LV-8320 LCD Multimedia Projector
Clinching that multimillion-dollar deal calls for savvy and slick presentation. While this LCD multimedia projector can’t help you with the former, it can provide a successful presentation. Weighing just 3.4kg, it’s perfect for road warriors and provides a bright 3,000 lumens with a sharp 2,000:1 contrast ratio. The LV-8320 has an intelligent lamp-dimming feature that adjusts automatically to suit the brightness of the image projected, which saves power consumption by an impressive 69 per cent. Of significant note is its ability to combine two projections within a single screen – ideal for comparing charts. It also features Auto Keystone Correction, which detects tilt and corrects the projection to achieve distortion-free images.

Price: $1,599

 
 

FITNESS GADGETS
Nine great motivational tools for intensifying your workouts.

Getting fit has never been easier with the smorgasbord of gadgets and apps available today. You may not need a personal trainer when technology can fill the role. Functionality aside, gadgets and equipment nowadays are nifty in design and packed with features. Now, who can resist working up a sweat to such temptation?

Velogarage Illumirror
If you’re a night rider, this quirky accessory may just be your light in the dark, so to speak. Aptly named Illumirror, it’s a combination of a LED light and bicycle mirror. The LED light panel illuminates the frame of the mirror and can be set to blinker mode. The Illumirror comes with a flexible band, so you can attach it to the handlebar or any part of your bike. If you’re cycling on the road at night, there’s no way drivers can’t see you. In fact, don’t be surprised if they slow down just to take a look at your flashing mirror!

Price: $45


Jabra Sport
Fumbling with your old-school corded headphones looks silly when you’re pounding the pavement – especially when there are people around. The Jabra Sport stereo headset saves you from that indignity because it doesn’t have a cord that will tangle. It’s Bluetooth-enabled and comes with a built-in FM radio. Even better is it comes pre-loaded with the Endomondo Sports Tracker app. It reads aloud updates on your distance covered, lap time and speed with just a tap on the headset as you trudge along. It’s comfortably snug because of its behind-the-ear design, and tough – it meets the US military standards for dust, rain and shock resistance.

Price: $148
 
Sony Ericsson Xperia Active Handphone
Svelte handsets are all the rage now, but few are designed to take the rigours an active lifestyle demands. Not so the Xperia Active. This tough cookie is a perfect fitness buddy, with its pre-loaded sports apps that can track your heart rate, fitness levels, training activity and performance. For those who get lost easily (even in tiny Singapore), there’s no need to worry: The phone comes with built-in GPS. It’s also certified dust-proof and waterresistant, with a screen that allows for wet finger tracking. While it’s 16.5mm thick, that’s a small price to pay for the robust build.

Price: $498

Bryton Rider 50 Cycling Computer
This gizmo is perfect for exploring uncharted territory. It’s not a one-trick pony: The water-resistant Rider 50 offers a plethora of information such as speed, distance, altitude, temperature, heart rate, cadence – the list goes on. There’s also high-definition live-mapping by GPS, so that you get an accurate fix on your location even when you’re navigating off-road trails. You can also log on to the company’s website
(bridgesport.com) to plan a trip with your workout. Just determine the plan at your starting point on the map and the system automatically tracks your journey, taking into account the terrain you’ll be passing over. If your buddies have Rider 50s, you can share planned trips and points of interest wirelessly.

Price: $469


Lemond Revolution
Serious cyclists are absolutely obsessed – they never stop, even at home. Perhaps that’s why the Lemond Revolution bike trainer was created. It features high-inertia technology designed to mimic the activity of a rolling bicycle. This provides a smooth, natural feel when you pedal, and there’s no lag when you slow down or change gears. It’s as real as riding on the road. Also, because it uses a replaceable cassette, you can swop just about any bike – from road and triathlon to mountain bikes – you can find and mount it on the device.

Price: From $988

Polar RS800CX Run
This isn’t a watch; it’s a running computer for the serious athlete. The RS800CX comes with functions that help you plan, monitor and analyse your exercise. For instance, the running index tracks your heart rate and speed data during your runs, allowing you to monitor your running efficiency. The running cadence function helps you measure the contact time between your feet and the ground. From this, you can then tweak the way you run, to find a balance between power and speed. You can create a customised training plan using the Polar Protrainer 5 software that comes in the package, and transfer it to the watch wirelessly.

Price: $799
 
Speedo Aquabeat 2 MP3 Player
Can’t do without your groove even when you’re swimming? Just take it along with you. The Aquabeat 2 allows you to enjoy your favourite tunes, whether you’re splashing about in the pool or at the beach. It comes with features such as FM radio, stopwatch and pedometer function. You can choose from three memory capacities based on your needs: 1GB, 2GB or 4GB. The 4GB Aquabeat 2 can hold up to 1,000
MP3 and 2,000 WMA files. The player is water-resistant to a depth of 3m but light enough to float on water.

Price: $139 (2GB)

Bone Horn Bike Acoustic Amplifier
Eco warriors will love this crazy accessory – it doesn’t require any external power to amp up the volume on your iPhone 3GS/4 or iPod Touch 4. Simply pull it over your device, attach it to your bicycle’s handlebar with the adjustable strap, and the Horn Bike will amplify the wimpy speaker volume by 13 decibels. Made of silicone, it’s tough, water-resistant and washable. For those who like a choice, it also comes in three colours: black, blue and grey.

Price: $35
 

2XU Comp Trisuit
Whether you’re a seasoned triathlete or first-timer, you’ll definitely appreciate the Comp Trisuit’s qualities. When you emerge from the water, the suit’s slight compression fit will provide warmth, without compromising circulation. As your body heat rises, the Sensor Mesh X material ventilates your body to keep you cool. The suit also has an exclusive fleece padding to keep you comfy in the saddle of your bicycle, yet remains unobtrusive when you dismount for the run. At this price, the Comp Trisuit is a steal, for it delivers performance typically offered by pricier rival brands.

Price: $220
 

GAMING | ADVENTURE | BACHELOR PAD | MOBILE OFFICE | FITNESS  

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