Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any better in the all-in-one PDA device category, HP is there to surprise you with their band new offering of the HP h6315. Satisfy all your mobile communication needs with this one compact device: the new HP iPAQ h6315 Pocket PC with mobile phone and camera! This is the first and smallest handheld featuring integrated three-way wireless capabilities (GSM, GPRS, WLAN, and Bluetooth). Access the Internet, e-mail, send text messages, and make wireless phone calls with the GSM/GPRS global voice and data wireless network. You can snap a photo with the built-in camera or navigate to anywhere in the world with the addition of the GPS module. The phone service is provided by T-Mobile and has a separate monthly fee. It even includes a detachable microkeyboard for those times when you want to let your fingers do the typing. This iPAQ should be on everyone’s “please-buy-this-for-me” list, but it does carry a hefty price tag of about $599.99, not including the phone service, so you better be a very good little girl or boy in order to receive this luxury item. www.hp.com . — Reviewed by Alan Pearlman
Logitech® MX™1000 Laser Cordless Mouse
The new Logitech® MX™1000 Laser Cordless Mouse is the latest and greatest of the entire mouse family! Now optical is obsolete. And your computing experience will never be the same. With an incredible 20x more sensitivity to surface detail—or tracking power—than optical, laser can track reliably even on tricky polished or wood-grain surfaces. And the MX1000 offers even more advanced features that will make you more productive and more comfortable: it’s rechargeable, with a rapid-charging base station that makes sure the mouse is always ready, and the lithium-ion battery never needs replacing. It features cordless performance that equals a USB-corded connection. If you are looking for a new and exciting mouse to beef up computer movements, move to the new MX1000: $80. — Reviewed by Alan Pearlman.
ABS Plus Automatic Backup System
CMS Products ( www.cmsproducts.com) has created an easy-to-install, simple-to-use, and practically completely automatic backup system for laptop and desktop computers on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. CMS sells its own backup software, called BounceBack Professional, separately and as part of a package that includes a hard disk. The package designed for the Macintosh platform comes with a hard drive with a FireWire 400 interface. You can get packages designed for a Windows platform that comes with a hard disk with a USB 2.0 or a FireWire interface.
CMS has separate packages for laptops and desktop computers as well. The laptop backup package comes with a small footprint (pocketable) hard disk (20 to 100 GB). The desktop packages come with relatively small footprint 80–400 GB hard disk. The software by itself lists for $79. Pricing on the laptop package starts at $229 for a 20 GB system. Desktop systems start at $209 with an 80GB hard disk.
The software takes care of drive formatting as necessary and works with hard drives other than those sold by CMS. It allows for the rapid restoration of single files, folders, or the complete hard disk, depending on what you need. It allows you to create custom sets of data to backup and to specify the backup destination. You can also schedule the day and time of the backup. The first backup will take longer than subsequent backups because the first backup must duplicate all files to be backed up, whereas subsequent backups will take far less time to run because the software will copy only those files that have been changed since the prior backup. You can also use the system to synchronize data between two computers. All of the Macintosh packages allow you to use the disk drive as an external boot drive. The new Velocity Series drives (offered at a premium over the prices referenced above) allow the use of the drive as an external boot drive on Windows. The Velocity Series drives operate at a much faster transfer speed as well (CMS claims speeds up to 1.5 GB per minute. — Reviewed by Jeffrey Allen
Pacific Digital Memory Frame
Pacific Digital’s MemoryFrame™ USB digital photo albums give digital photographers an easy way to display a slideshow of up to 80 photos, immediately after taking them, without a PC. MemoryFrame digital photo albums come in 5 " x 7 " ($249) and 8 " x 10 " sizes. ($449) An 8 " x 10 " wireless version ($499) is also available. The MemoryFrame has a USB 1.1 interface, allowing direct connection to digital cameras or computers to transfer image files to the device. The device allows the display and rotation of the images in a continuous slideshow on the MemoryFrame’s active matrix screen. You can fit a standard frame around the device or acquire a frame from the manufacturer. Pacific Digital offers three flavors of frames: oak, black, or oak with black trim. Each adds $7.99 to the cost of the package. The 8 " x10 " MemoryFrames have 32MB of RAM and 20MB of flash memory, which should get you between 32 and 80 pictures, depending on resolution.
Special features include viewing “thumbnails” of digital-camera or memory-card contents; editing slide shows; setting the time between image changes; adding transition and display effects; deleting images from slideshows; and adding voice, music, and captions. — Reviewed by Jeffrey Allen