December 21 Show’s Week in Review & Part 2 of Our TechTalk Gadget Review

22 12 2008

Week In Review from December 21 only had two news stories so we could make time for all the great gift ideas we had from our staff and Ben Patterson

Here are the two stories from the Wall Street Journal Online edition Tom suggested:

  • What’s in a name, More and more a number – Carl Bialik [LINK]
  • The Way We Will Watch – Wall Street Journal – Sarah McBride [LINK]

PRODUCT REVIEWS
Last week, we brought you our first installment of product coverage for the 2008 holiday season.We reviewed the
Cardscan for Mac, the Pathfinder TSA CheckPoint Friendly Compu-brief and the WildCharge charging mat.

This week we bring you a couple of very different digital frames.

The first was the DPF 1411 model, 14.1 inch from Westinghouse. With such a large display, the software on the device is able to show either full frame of one picture or split into three it using Westinghouse’s MosaicView™ technology. This technology shows three of the pictures at the same time with a vertical and two horizontal. Though the Westinghouse model only has 128 MB of internal memory, it is compatible with most memory card format (including SD, CompactFlash and even XD from Olympus). It will display JPEGs, A.V.I motion JPEG, MPEG 1 & 4 file formats. The frame is at home on the shelf and is wall mountable. Though, you will still have a power supply cord hanging down if you hang it on the wall.

Picture quality is similar to other models, but the extra screen real estate brings the suggested retail above $200. We did find it on a few sites between $160 – 180.

The next digital frame we tried was eStarling’s Impact 7. How is it so different from the Westinghouse? The biggest difference is the Impact does not have anywhere to put your storage device …of any kind. The way the eStarling frame works is wirelessly. This means the first thing you have to do is set it up on your wireless network. Then, you go to their website, sign up for an account and you are given an email address. Then you email your new address the pictures you want on the frame. You can also set the frame up to read feeds using RSS (like you use to download the TechTalk podcast).

The Impact retails for around $100. If you are an avid flickr or Photstream user, separated from from a friend/family member or want to put one in your reception area at your business, then the Impact 7 from eStarling is a very viable choice.


Finally, the belle of TechTalk’s 2008 Holiday Gift Product Tests comes to us from Otterbox.

The OtterBox 7030 laptop case is described on OtterBox’s site as Waterproof, dustproof, drop-proof, dirtproof protection. High impact Polypropylene construction for maximum strength. Shock-absorbing Elastomer corner bumpers. This case includes a shoulder strap, and a removable file folder accessory for files, pens, business cards and more.

We simply call it one mean motor-scooter. Not only is it lockable, it also has …wait for it…automatic pressure equalization in case it is submerged in water. The OtterBox is rated ‘MIL-STD 810F’ and IP67. Those equate to approximately 30 minutes in one meter of water. We did not test this feature. We have to take their word on it until we get a bigger budget.

It comes with customizable bumpers to ensure a snug fit for your laptop. We should note is it will not fit all laptops. Please check the site to make sure yours will fit. There is no give. It do or it don’t.

There is not much more to say about this case. It is simple. It is tough. It is a must have for mobile workers in extreme conditions – sandhogs, we are talking to you. Weighing in a just under seven pounds for the case only, it is not the lightest in the market. But, we are also pretty sure the doors at Fort Knox are not light either. In conclusion,

We also tried out Otterbox’s iPhone case. The case retails for around $50. Considering it is water resistant and tough as nails, you can look at that as a $50 insurance policy for your device. It is also the best looking case we have seen for those that clip the phone to the belt. It has all of the same characteristics of the laptop case. They have PDA cases for iPhone, Treos, iPods, iPaqs and more on the way. We are not saying this is the toughest case on the face of the earth, but we are saying let us know if you find one that is tougher.

You can find all of these at otterbox.com and most likely in the offices of MI6. We can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Whatever it is, we are not worried about breaking it or whatever it encases.

The staff would like to thank Kristin at Otterbox, Michael for Westinghouse and Jessica from eStarling for all their help getting these products to test out.

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