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Gadget Guru November 2013

Vaio Flip 15

TV on the Brain
There’s something to be said for being able to totally immerse yourself in your movies and TV programs anywhere you go. This month, Sony is releasing its all-new HMZ-T3W head-mounted (as in your head) wraparound heads-up display device, which can stream content up to seven meters away from a synced up content source such as a smart phone or tablet. A compact battery box powers the display for several hours (it can charge and play at the same time too), and numerous ports allow for a number of devices to connect, such as video game systems and home theater components. The ergonomically-styled head gear incorporates headbands, cushioned pads, and adjustable lenses, making it comfy and easy to optimize for your unique head size. Its surround sound experience comes in the form of a 7.1 channel virtual sound setup coupled with the supplied 16mm driver in-ear phones – or just attach your own favorite pair of headphones to it. $999. sony.com

The Kettle Connection
We thought we’d seen everything you could add an “i” to already come and go, but despite its ridiculous-sounding premise, there’s something about the new iKettle from Firebox that screams “must have.”The stainless steel kettle is entirely controllable with your iPhone or Android device through a Wi-Fi signal, right down to adjusting the temperature and setting the morning brew time. One of the more beneficial (and perhaps scary) features is the kettle’s ability to text you when it’s going to perform a function, such as asking if it should shut down after prolonged bouts of non-use or stay on – a benefit for those of us who know we’re going to have a mug after lunch or dinner and don’t want to add that microwave smell to it. Now if they’d just add the function where it tells me where I left my car keys. $160. firebox.com

Flip For It
Sony’s all new flip series of laptop/tablets debuts this month, such as the Flip 15, featuring an innovative design wherein screens can flip around and back, thus facing away from their keyboards. Or, overlap the keyboards to be used exactly like a touchscreen device. While the former design function is not exactly new, it’s the ability to transform into a touchscreen tablet without the keyboard ending up getting mashed as you hold it that is turning heads. Sony achieved this by designing a cover that actually hides the keyboard, ensuring buttons won’t get hit while you press the screen. Model sizes range from 13-15 inches, with USB 3.0 connections, SD card slots, and standard mic and headphone jacks. Mini HDMI sockets and a built-in Web cam are nice additional touches. While standard models ship with a 1080 screen, upgrades such as a 2,880 x 1,620 touchscreen allow for true HD resolution and the latest in multimedia apps. Prices start at $800. sony.com   Ryan Thomas


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