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TECH TALK
A
question I get asked a lot is “what are the coolest new
portable e-mail device. Not everyone needs a complicated
gadgets coming out” or “what new technologies make
Blackberry phone (in fact, my mom is terrified of her cell phone.
good gifts, especially for the guy that has everything?” After
All she needs is a device that makes and accepts calls). But for
working for more than 10 years in consumer electronics sales,
that group of people who
I have become jaded as to what impresses me in electronics.
like keeping their gadgets
My motto is “Just because it is the latest, does not make it the
simple, PEEK has heard their
greatest”. I have sifted through the many new technology
cries. The PEEK device is
gadgets that have been presented in the last year or so and
a no-frills, handheld e-mail
have a few picks that are worth a second look.
appliance that does one
One of the most prolific areas of technology this year has
thing really well. It sends and
been in the “sub compact” laptop department. These small,
receives email. At about the
relatively inexpensive laptops are referred to as “net books”.
size of a Blackberry phone,
I can hear the groaning already. “Laptops are expensive!
this mobile device allows a
That’s not a good gift!” Well, consider the EEE PC line of net
person, in a simple manner,
books from Asus computers.
to manage up to 3 e-mail
These diminutive giants fill a
accounts anywhere. It operates on a nationwide network and
unique niche in the computer
runs about $20.00 per month for access without a contract.
world. In a package about
If you want to get grandma in the family e-mail circle, this is
the size of a hardback book,
the way to go-an uncomplicated straight-forward device that
you have a brilliant 7 inch
anyone can operate without the hassles of a PC. The PEEK
LCD screen, wi-fi internet card,
device is available at Target stores.
built in webcam, multiple USB
And now for a totally pointless gadget that keeps me from
ports, speakers and even
losing my mind in my cubicle.
a SD memory card reader.
Radica Toys has been producing, for over a year now, t he
Currently the EEE PC line of
“Cube World” series of interactive toys. Cube World is a series
net books starts at around
of small 1 ½ inch cubes that feature a small grey LCD Display
$250.00 and goes up to $750.00 depending on your choice
that each contains a cube dweller character. Each colored
of options. The EEE PC is not a hugely powerful notebook
cube has a different personality. Stack them together like
that will be awesome for gaming or operating enormously
building blocks, and they begin to interact, doing everything
complicated programs. When, however, you want to have
from fighting to playing golf together. The cubes also have
some internet access at Starbucks, listen to some music or type
interactive games and a motion sensor so you can interact with
a report, this little jewel has you covered. Check out the whole
them. The more cubes you stack and add, the more complex
line and you will probably find one that will suit your needs and
their interactions can become. These fellas can be wreaking
your wallet. Check out the EEE PC in person at the Best Buy at
havoc in your cubicle for about $15-$20 per pair. Pick up your
Afton Rigde.
first pair at the Toys ‘R Us across from the Concord Mills Mall.
Another trend this year is making everything portable. A
Each of the technology goodies we have looked at today are
few weeks ago we saw the new iPods arrive. There are dozens
available at local Cabarrus County retailers.
of new MP3 and video gadgets coming out as well. In this
Until next time, remember, “Just because it is the latest, does
new portable movement, there is one gadget that has been
not make it the greatest”.
completely overlooked. Its brilliance is in its simplicity; the PEEK

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