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23 Apr 2014 Last updated
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Pick of the month's best gadgets: June

The best new gadgets and tech you need in your life this month

alpha magazine
Added 00:00 | 1 June 2012
  • Measuring 15.9mm thick and weighing under 1.2kg, the Portégé Z830 is staking claim to the title of the world's lightest ultrabook.

    Source:Supplied picture Image 1 of 2
  • This iPhone Lens Dial comes with three optical-quality coated glass lenses: wide angle, fisheye, and telephoto

    Source:Supplied picture Image 2 of 2

Portégé Z830
Intel's vice-president Sean Maloney said last year that a new class of PC, dubbed ‘ultrabooks' would make up 40 per cent of the market by the end of 2012. To qualify as an ultrabook,a laptop needs to have a chassis under 21mm thick, a fast boot time, SSD (solid-state device) storage in place of a traditional hard disk drive, and a longer battery life - more than eight hours. So, it seems the rest of the industry is trying to play catch-up with the MacBook Air that was launched in 2008. But Toshiba has released a new contender for top position. Measuring 15.9mm thick and weighing under 1.2kg, the Portégé Z830 is staking claim to the title of the world's lightest ultrabook. Powered by an Intel Core chip, the Z830 is encased in a light yet durable magnesium alloy casing. It hasa bright 13.3" non-reflective HD display and powerful Dolby Advanced Audio stereo speakers. Now wait for Samsung or Acer to make a move. Dh4,439 at leading stores

iPhone Lens Dial
The iPhone Lens Dial looks more like something you would see at your Optometrist's than in your camera bag. This iPhone accessory comes with three optical-quality coated glass lenses: wide angle, fisheye, and telephoto - all wrapped up in a slim aircraft-grade aluminium jacket equipped with two tripod mounts (for portrait or landscape shots). Just rotate the dial to change lenses. $249 (Dh914), www.photojojo.com

Bryde for iPad
There have been a few attempts made at turning the iPad into a laptop. Belkin, Logitech and Kingston all get honourable mentions with their iPad folio keyboards. But truth be told, none match the iPad's coolness. Or so we think after we came across the Kickstarter-promoted Brydge iPad keyboard. Kickstarter is a NYC-based funding platform for creative projects.

The Brydge is made from aerospace-grade aluminium and connects to the iPad through a patent-pending click-in hinge. This allows for 180-degree iPad positioning and prevents the tablet from falling off when docked on the keyboard. What sets the Brydge apart from the rest is the seamless nature of the design. The Brydge looks like it is part of the iPad.It snaps shut like a laptop, so there is no need for a case. It could even be mistaken for the Macbook Air.

More coolness comes courtesy of the built-in stereo speakers on the keyboard, though this is as an optional feature now. There are no wires or plugs involved - the connectivity between the keyboard and the tablet is managed via Bluetooth. The project, the brainchild of an LA-based trio, has obtained funding to proceed, so the Brydge should go into production soon. www.thebrydge.com

The short list

Slider's here
Another tablet with an identity crisis, the Asus Eee Pad Slider is a tablet with a slide-out keyboard. It runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb,has a 10.1" touchscreen and an Nvidia Tegra chip. Other notable tech includes the Polaris Office Suite and the inclusion of Mini-HDMI,a microSD card slot and USB 2.0. The Slider is ideal for those who can't decide between a PC and an Android tablet.
Dh2,399 at Eros Electronics

We want to be found
Most of us here in the UAE who don't already use location-based services (LBS) on our mobile devices will be willing to do so in the near future. This bit of clairvoyance comes from a Mobile Life study by tech consultancy TNS, which says 79 per cent of us are likely to start using LBS soon. Almost one fifth of the world's six billion mobile users is already using LBS. Navigation via GPS remains the main use of LBS, which currently stands at 52 per cent in Mena. One in four in the UAE use location-based services to find friends nearby compared with one in five globally.

Beautifully designed app. Full of handy how-to videos, all the content is user-generated. Super stuff.

Walk this way
Sony's new Z series Walkman runs on Android and features an S-Master MX digital amplifier that significantly reducesnoise and distortion levels in music. It has xLOUD,a capable built-in speaker, comes with 16GB storage and has a unique anti-reflective 4.3" multi-touch LCD screen that can also play videos.
Dh1,299 atleading stores

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