Tech goodies

Nokia Lumia 1020

Starting from $149.99 through AT&T and at www.nokia.com

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is available in bright, matte yellow, black or white and offers a large display screen (71.4 millimeters across).

The camera is an incredible feat, clocking in at a monstrous 41 megapixels. If photography is your main aim, this phone should be a consideration. Even National Geographic photographer Steven Alvarez sang its praises when he used it on a shoot, and with his reputation on the line, it is unlikely he would rave about a substandard product.

The Windows interface makes the home screen easy to navigate, offering colorful boxes. The overall look is minimalist and sleek.

The strongest selling point is the camera and its multitude of functions. It allows for editing in Creative Studio.

In the search for the perfect phone, it really comes down to what operation system is preferred. But if you have an inclination toward Windows, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is a viable candidate.

beatbox portable by dr. dre

$399.95 www.beatsbydre.com

If you’re in the market for a stereo and don’t want to spend thousands of dollars for a ton of equipment, the beatbox portable is just what the doctor ordered, or, more specifically, what Dr. Dre ordered. The rapper and record producer has a line of products that help average Joe’s listen to the music the way he does.

The good doctor says artists and producers work hard to perfect their sound, yet many devices don’t translate that quality to the listener. He says with his Beats line of products — which includes headphones, earphones and speakers — listeners will hear the full, rich textures in all of their music.

The beatbox comes in black, gray or red, and its throwback design is reminiscent of a boombox from the 1980s.

The box won’t replace a home stereo system, but in an office or a smaller space, it more than does the trick — and it’s much easier to move around than a stereo receiver and speakers. It works on Bluetooth and has an iPhone or iPod port on top. Unfortunately, you can only dock a 30-pin Apple charger, and not the one found on iPhone 5 models. An updated version is surely in the works.

Nomad 7 Solar Panel

$79.99 www.goalzero.com

If
you like the great outdoors and getting away from it all but you still
want your electronic devices to work, pack the Nomad 7 Solar Panel. It
literally is a mini solar panel in a case about the size of an iPad.
Both interior sides are lined with solar panels, with various plug-in
ports on the back. It must face the sun to get a charge and does not
store power.

The Nomad
collects 7 watts of power from the sun and will charge a USB or 12V
device (no tablets). It can charge a cell phone in about 1-2 hours.

One nice feature is the ability to charge two devices simultaneously. The Nomad splits the power signal between the two ports.

Charging a device is as simple as pointing the Nomad toward direct sunlight and plugging in a device or devices.

It
weighs just .8 pounds and can easily be stowed in a backpack. So
whether hanging out in your backyard or in the middle of nowhere, as
long as there is sun, the Nomad will keep your devices charged. Although
isn’t that why people go to the middle of nowhere, to escape their
devices? Oh, never mind.

belkin WeMo Switch

$49.99 and available through Verizon at www.verizonwireless.com

Remember
the Clapper? This is not the Clapper and is actually much more useful.
Just plug the WeMo into the wall and download a free app, and the WeMo
uses your home Wi-Fi network to control anything you plug into it
remotely from your phone. Complete a simple installation and you’re in
business.

Want to turn
the lamps on at a certain time when you’re not home? No problem. It can
also be used for things like fans, heaters or curling irons that can
sometimes accidentally be left on. Add all the switches you want and
control your home remotely on your schedule.

And if you’re feeling nostalgic, go ahead and clap your hands as you turn an appliance on or off.



 LG Tone 

$69.99 and available through Verizon at www.verizonwireless.com

If
you desire the convenience of Bluetooth without looking like a dork
with a device clipped to your ear, look no further than the LG Tone. It
is a wireless stereo headset designed as a horseshoe-shaped collar that
serves as a listening/talking device for your phone or music player. Two
earphones attach magnetically to the front of the Tone and are easily
removed for listening.

The
Tone is no slouch in the listening category. The earbuds cancel noise,
leaving just the music to flow into your ears. The device is more
conspicuous than an Bluetooth earpiece, giving less of the look of
walking down the street while talking to yourself. It is not, however,
bulky or uncomfortable.

With
one charge, it provides 10 hours of listening or talk time. With its
cool design, don’t be surprised if people stop you on the street to find
out what the heck this fancy, futuristic-looking device is and what
you’re doing with it. You can just play it cool and say, “It’s my LG
Tone.”

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