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Hot Gadgets


Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

Type, type, get a cup of coffee, type some more. And ignore your wrist and hands—until the pain sets in. The wireless Sculpt Ergonomic keyboard and mouse are designed to keep your wrists and...
Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop

Roku 3

Rokus let you stream online content to your TV. In Canada, that primarily means Netflix, although Vevo, the National Film Board, Crackle and other channels are available. I was a fan of the Roku 2 XS...
Roku 3

Dyson Hard

If “elegant” isn’t a word you associate with vacuum cleaners, you probably haven’t used a Dyson. The company is known for technological innovation and the Dyson experience is...
Dyson Hard

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11s

Windows 8 was designed to serve both notebook and tablet uses, and hardware manufacturers have tried to create one device that fulfills that potential. Probably coming closest to that goal is the...
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11s

NewTechn Power2U

This is perhaps the most straightforward device we’ve ever reviewed. Replace an existing outlet with a Power2U and immediately gain two USB power plugs, in addition to the two standard outlets...
NewTechn Power2U

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet

Last year’s Surface was good hardware, suffering only from a high price tag, too-short battery life and not-quite-blazing performance. The refreshed model addresses two of those issues with...
•Microsoft Surface Pro 2 tablet

Orbotix Sphero 2.0

The Sphero 2.0 is flat-out fun. It’s a ball that lights up, changes colour and rolls around—all controlled by your iOS or Android device over Bluetooth. There are almost 30 games available...
Orbotix Sphero 2.0

Motorola Moto X

Increasingly, smartphones are being differentiated through one or two standout features. With the Moto X, that feature is that this phone is always listening for your commands. But the basics...
Motorola Moto X

Linksys AC 1750 EA6500 dual-band router

The best advice I have for people buying a new Wi-Fi router is this: don’t go cheap. The router is the centre of your home technology experience, and a mediocre model will leave you with...
Motorola Moto X

OrigAudio EpiShock

We reviewed OrigAudio’s Rock-It 2.0, and loved it. The Rock-It is a small oblong with two cords; one is plugged into an audio source and other attached to an object (preferably a hollow one)...
OrigAudio EpiShock

Belkin WeMo Light Switch

Not everyone wants to control their home appliances remotely, but if you’ve ever wished you could turn off a light after you’ve left the house, Belkin has you covered. The WeMo replaces a...
Belkin WeMo Light Switch

BlackBerry Q10

The BlackBerry Q10, commonly known as “the one with the keyboard,” is the phone many enthusiasts were waiting on. And for good reason: BlackBerry, née RIM, was known for its...
BlackBerry Q10

Sony Xperia Z

The Xperia Z ($150 on a two-year Bell contract) is not getting rave reviews for its speed or battery life, but if you’ve ever dropped an uber-expensive smartphone in a pool or a toilet, it...
Sony Xperia Z

Fitbit Flex

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” So goes the old management adage, and it’s as true when what you’re trying to manage is your fitness. Enter the Flex, a...
Fitbit Flex

HP Envy Rove 20

A lot of devices go through my office, and there are a handful I truly hate to send back. The Rove 20 ($999.99) is one of those. HP took the all-in-one idea (which, like the iMac, is a computer built...
HP Envy Rove 20

HP Split X2

The Split X2 comes from the same design impulse as the Asus Taichi—rethinking how to make notebooks more versatile—but HP is more successful. The Split ($799.99) is an attractive 13-inch...
HP Split X2

Asus Taichi

I really wanted to like the Asus Taichi, if only to reward Asus for bold innovation. A surprisingly slim and light 11-inch laptop, the Taichi ($1,299) sports two screens: one where you expect it on a...
Asus Taichi

Slingbox 500

Remember Slingbox? You’d be forgiven for forgetting, as the 500 and 350 are the first new Slingboxes in about four years. But the value proposition is the same: plug the box into your TV or DVR...
Slingbox 500

Voiamo Globalgig

This one is for business travellers: the Globalgig creates a Wi-Fi hotspot using cell data. It currently works in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Ireland, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark. Pricing varies;...
Voiamo Globalgig

Timbuk2 Power Commute

Stuffing $1,200 laptops and other gear into cheap and poorly designed bags can make commuting and mobile work less enjoyable. Timbuk2’s new Power Commute solves a common problem: running out of...
Timbuk2 Power Commute

Booq Boa Courier 10

Stuffing $1,200 laptops and other gear into cheap and poorly designed bags can make commuting and mobile work less enjoyable. Booq’s Boa Courier 10 embodies a cardinal travel rule: carry only...
Booq Boa Courier 10

Samsung Galaxy Camera

So, you like Android devices but you also like digital cameras with big image sensors and optical zoom. And you don’t want to carry two things. Samsung has you covered. The Galaxy Camera is a...
Samsung Galaxy Camera

Dell Latitude 10 with Productivity Dock

Microsoft has not set the tablet world on fire, partly because each flavour of Windows 8 tablets has a flaw: Windows RT tablets can’t run most Windows software, while full Windows 8 models like...
Dell Latitude 10

Samsung Galaxy Note II

When you first pick up a Note II all you can think is “Wow, this is huge.” And at 5.5 inches, it’s the largest smartphone screen on the market. But you get over that quickly and...
Samsung Galaxy Note II

BlackBerry Z10

The Z10 is a hit. BlackBerry’s long-awaited phone is well built and sleek, in a little-black-dress way. It has no buttons on the front, weighs only 135 grams, has a 4.2-inch display and...
BlackBerry Z10

Dell Latitude 10

Microsoft’s Windows 8 has been struggling in the tablet space. With negative reaction from many reviewers and strong competition from Apple iPads and Android-based devices, Microsoft is firmly...
Dell Latitude 10

Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia made a Hail Mary play in 2010: it decided to tie its fortunes to Windows Phone and produce only devices running Microsoft’s fledgling mobile platform. The October 2012 release of Windows...
Nokia Lumia 920

Google Samsung Chromebook

Google Chromebooks are not available in this country, but I managed to arrange a loan through Google Canada, and I am glad I did: Chromebooks represent a useful alternative to traditional notebooks....
Google Samsung Chromebook

Kobo Arc

The Kobo Arc is a great 7-inch Androidtablet that competes directly with Google’s Nexus 7. The specs, build quality and price are comparable; at $199, the 16GB Arc is $10 cheaper than the...
Kobo Arc

SurfEasy

SurfEasy is a small USB dongle that is almost magical. Plug it into your Mac or PC and it sets you up with a virtual private network (VPN) connection to the Internet. What will you do with that...
SurfEasy

Optek Music Fretlight FG-421 guitar

Optek makes good Stratocaster-styled electric guitars and sells them for about the same price as competitive models. But Fretlights offer a bonus: a built-in LED learning system that, when you...
Optek Music Fretlight FG-421 guitar

Google Nexus 7

Shopping for a tablet? There are two brands to consider. If you like the Apple ecosystem, buy an iPad—now in regular or Mini size. Android fans, those who want a small and light device or those...
Google Nexus 7

Cisco Linksys EA4500 router

Routers are fairly limited devices: they deliver the Internet to your gadgets. Linksys is changing that. The EA4500 is a high-end router (wireless N, dual-band, four gigabit ports) that also...
Cisco Linksys EA4500 router

CarMD

When you drop your car off at the shop, the first thing your mechanic does is plug it into a computer. This generates a report on the car’s health and on any problem codes. And until now, you...
CarMD

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i

The ScanSnap does just one thing—scan documents—but it does it very well because Fujitsu understands that the second step in scanning is storing and organizing the resulting files. After...
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i

Amazon Kindle

I like everything about Amazon Kindles, with one exception: Canadians can only buy the mainstream model. No Kindle Fire or Kindle Paperwhite for us. But at least the base Kindle is a great device. It...
Amazon Kindle

Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale

The basics of any fitness regime are eat healthier and exercise more. Here are two devices help you do both. The Withings scale links to Wi-Fi and measures weight, BMI and lean and fat mass, and...
Withings Wi-Fi Body Scale

Samsung Series 9 ultrabook

The Series 9 ultrabooks offer solid-state drives, aluminum construction, a matte-black finish, boot-up of 10 seconds or less, 4GB of RAM, Bluetooth and abg/n Wi-Fi, and they come in a 13-inch...
Samsung Series 9 ultrabook

Nest Learning Thermostat

As a rule, Backbone ignores thermostats, but I was pleased to break that rule for the Nest. It’s thoughtfully designed and attractive, and offers Wi-Fi connectivity, touch controls and a motion...
Nest Learning Thermostat

Sony NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV

The best single word for Sony’s new Internet Player with Google TV is “underwhelming.” While it’s both useful and fun, it’s not quite enough of either. The unit...
Sony NSZ-GS7 Internet Player with Google TV

Toshiba U840W

Give Toshiba credit for innovation: its high-end U840W is the only ultrabook to sport a 21:9 cinematic display. This is meaningful for two reasons. One, there is a lot of horizontal room for a...
Toshiba U840W

FitBit Ultra

The basics of any fitness regime are eat healthier and exercise more. Two devices help you do both. The Withings scale links to Wi-Fi and measures weight, BMI and lean and fat mass, and uploads...
FitBit Ultra

Roku 2 XS

Roku boxes have only recently become available in Canada, and it’s about time. These tiny devices are fantastic media streamers. For example, it’s a great way to watch Netflix on your TV....
Roku 2 XS

Ooma Telo Home Phone Service

Voice over IP (VoIP) vs. regular phone service: VoIP is cheap or even free, but the quality is often poor, your computer needs to be on for it to work and you usually need a special headset. But...
Ooma Telo Home Phone Service

JLab Go Wave 4GB

Sweat and other moisture is tough on electronics. If you want to work out—and even swim—while listening to music, consider JLab’s Go Wave waterproof headsets. The sound quality is a...
JLab Go Wave 4GB

Dell XPS 13

Intel created the term “ultrabook” to define notebooks that are slim, light, stylish and fast, with most using solid-state drives for faster start-up and shutdown. The PC industry jumped...
Dell XPS 13

Gentec Energy Power Bar

Setting up a home theatre is a complex undertaking, with a typical setup seemingly involving about 250 wires. Gentec has a simple three-wire sound solution: plug one large barshaped speaker...
Gentec Energy Power Bar

Kensington BungeeAir Protect

About five per cent of people lose a cellphone per year, according to McAfee and the Ponemon Institute. This Kensington case and key-fob combo could reduce that, at least for iPhone owners. The case...
Kensington BungeeAir Protect

RIM PlayBook

Like just about everyone else, I was unimpressed by the PlayBook: nice hardware, but no on-board calendar or e-mail and few apps, at a price basically the same as an iPad. How times have changed....
RIM PlayBook

Blackfly messenger bag

We at Backbone are big fans of computer bags. Most knowledge workers carry a notebook computer, so choosing the right bag is important. Which brings us to the Blackfly ($80), an innovative product...
Blackfly messenger bag

Cowboys and Aliens Blu-ray

The next time you’re shopping for a Blu-ray, make Universal’s Second Screen feature part of your criteria. Second Screen integrates a tablet or notebook into the viewing experience,...
Cowboys and Aliens Blu-ray

Surc iPhone 4 Universal Remote

I recently added five new remote controls to my life, via a media room with LCD TV, home-theatre receiver and speakers, TiVO, PS3, Apple TV, Xbox and Wii. Only the last two devices have no remote....
Surc iPhone 4 Universal Remote

Samsung Galaxy S II LTE

You know that hilarious Samsung video that skewers iPhone fans waiting in line for the new model? The phone that tempts the line-dwellers is the Galaxy S II, and it turns out there is a lot to like....
Samsung Galaxy S II LTE

Acer Aspire S3

Ultrabooks were the big news at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, with about 60 models heading for shelves in 2012. Ultrabooks, a category created and defined by Intel, are affordable,...
Acer Aspire S3

iHome iW1 AirPlay

If you use iTunes, like music and have a Wi-Fi network, you’ll love the iW1. It’s a portable, rechargeable speaker that uses Apple’s AirPlay technology to stream music from an iOS...
iHome iW1 AirPlay

Ecosol PowerTrip

When there is no plug nearby, opt for the PowerTrip battery. Once charged—from a plug, a computer’s USB port or through the built-in solar panel—its 6,000 mAh battery charges mobile...
Ecosol PowerTrip

Kensington AbsolutePower

Many of us travel with an essential trio of computer gadgets: a laptop, smartphone and tablet. Kensington’s AbsolutePower ($120) powers all three simultaneously, with tips for popular...
Kensington AbsolutePower

HTC HD7 with Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)

The HD7 is a nice unit—5MP camera with high-def video and good build quality—but it was introduced about a year ago, so it’s not new. What is new is the 500-odd changes that come...
HTC HD7

HP ePrint printers

Printer innovations are rare. Incremental improvements—better colour, faster output, maybe cheaper ink—are common but honest-to-goodness new stuff is uncommon. ePrint is an exception:...
HP Photosmart eStation

TomTom Go Live 1535 M

For sheer value we have to give the nod to TomTom for its focus on reducing drive time. The 1535 M’s HD Traffic service communicates in real-time (every two minutes) to and from HD-enabled...
TomTom Go Live 1535 M

Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM

Rethinking GPS: Magellan pumped some useful features into its new RoadMate ($300), specifically lifetime map updates and traffic data, Wi-Fi connectivity and a basic browser, and a TourDirector...
Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM

SuperBeam Buds

These in-ear headsets incorporate a microphone into each earbud and an on-board sound card. They also feature “adaptive beam forming,” which “centres microphone sensitivity on the...
SuperBeam Buds

Lenovo ThinkPad X1

The X1 is just about perfect. Yes, it could be a little lighter and the battery could last a little longer, but those are minor quibbles. The 13-inch X1 (starting at $1,200) is the thinnest...
Lenovo ThinkPad X1

Tuff-Luv Tri-Axis case

In our last issue I wrote “If you want a tablet, buy an iPad.” If you took my advice you’re now looking to accessorize your new companion. Start with the Tri-Axis, the best iPad case...
Tuff-Luv Tri-Axis case

Ring O All-In-One Mounting Pack

Vogel’s Ring O mounts let you clip your iPad onto a wall or the back of a car’s front seat. This means your iPad can display recipes near a kitchen counter, act as a wall clock or digital...
Ring O All-In-One Mounting Pack

OrigAudio Rock-It 2.0

This thing is just cool. You plug one end into any audio source—notebook computer, iPod or even an old cassette Walkman—and pop the sticky disk on the other end onto just about anything....
OrigAudio Rock-It 2.0

Creative Live! Cam inPerson HD

Using a Web cam used to be an unsatisfactory experience: low-res, high-contrast images with washed out or dark backgrounds. But current cameras, such as this Creative model, are reversing that...
Creative Live! Cam inPerson HD

HP Pavilion dm1

In our last issue I wrote that the new MacBook Air is the “ultra-portable notebook to beat.” For this issue, I challenged HP: send me the model you would put up against Apple’s...
HP Pavilion dm1

Linksys E4200

Here’s the thing about wireless routers: buy a pricey one. Seriously. The router is the centre of all your home technology: your wireless Blu-ray player, your connected TV, your PS3 or Xbox or...
Linksys E4200

Apple iPad 2 / iOS

IDC expects Apple to own 70 to 80 per cent of the tablet market throughout 2011, even with this year’s flood of competitors. And it’s easy to see why that is: more apps, great accessories,...
Apple iPad 2

LG Optimus Pad / Android 3.0

There are three reasons to consider an Optimus Pad: 1. You like the Android operating system. Optimus runs the tablet-optimized 3.0 version. 2. You find the 10-inch iPad too big and the 7-inch Galaxy...
LG Optimus Pad

Dell Inspiron Duo / Windows 7

The Duo is a full-on Windows 7 netbook but with a twist: pivot the screen, close the lid and you’ve got a tablet. It’s a neat trick but it comes with two gotchas. The first is...
Dell Inspiron Duo

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook / QNX

RIM has long been known for security, and that huge market place advantage gave the company less incentive to innovate or offer sexy devices. That mindset contributed to the company’s recent...
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, QNX

HP TouchPad / WebOS

HP killed the TouchPad in August, less than two months after launching the device. It turns out the WebOS operating system was both the TouchPad’s strength and weakness. It was a strength...
HP TouchPad, WebOS

MacBook Air

I am a lifelong Windows guy, and the revamped 11-inch MacBook Air has me thinking about buying a Mac. The 11-inch Air introduced last year was a little underpowered; the revamped 2011 model...
MacBook Air

Belkin Conserve Smart

Vampire or standby power is the electricity wasted by devices that draw power even when you’re not using them, like game consoles and phone chargers. Natural Resources Canada pegs the average...
Belkin Conserve Smart

Motorola Atrix

If you follow mobile technology you’ve been following the Atrix, and with good reason: the handheld sports a dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a qHD smartphone display, front- and rear-facing...
Motorola Atrix

Belkin Conserve Insight

Vampire or standby power is the electricity wasted by devices that draw power even when you’re not using them, like game consoles and phone chargers. Natural Resources Canada pegs the average...
Belkin Conserve Insight

Belkin Conserve Valet

Vampire or standby power is the electricity wasted by devices that draw power even when you’re not using them, like game consoles and phone chargers. Natural Resources Canada pegs the average...
Belkin Conserve Valet

Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter

It’s a helicopter, it’s controllable from an Apple iPhone or touch, it has cameras that stream video to your handheld and it moves fast. And the whole copter can be surrounded by an...
Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter

Dell Streak

Every product has pros and cons, and for the five-inch Dell Streak the big plus and minus is the same: screen size. The Streak is a very capable Android-based tablet. It’s responsive,...
Dell Streak

Epson MovieMate 85HD

LCD projectors live in boardrooms and classrooms and so have a reputation as useful, functional devices. The word “fun” is rarely applied. But that’s not true of the MovieMate...
Epson MovieMate 85HD

PowerMat Wireless Charging System

When you buy an iPhone 4 it comes with a small wall plug and a USB cable for charging, so why would you shell out extra dough for a PowerMat? It’s all about the convenience. PowerMat is a two...
PowerMat Wireless Charging System

Clickfree Wireless Backup

Clickfree manufactures products that make data backup simpler. And that is critical: a recent survey found that 89 per cent of users do not back up home computers and 67 per cent have lost pictures or...
Clickfree Wireless Backup

Orbotix Sphero

Play is important, and the Sphero comes to play. A plastic ball about the size of a baseball, these are kitted out with an omni-directional drive and a Bluetooth radio. Players drive and...
Orbotix Sphero

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750

The K750 is not currently available from Canadian retailers, but this is a great idea so hopefully that will change soon. Why put batteries in your wireless keyboard when it can suck free energy...
Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750

Lenovo U1 with LePad slate

There were not many vendors who did more than simply ape the iPad look. One member of the elite club that did was Samsung, with its cool Windows 7 slider (video), but our favourite was Lenovo’s...
Lenovo U1 with LePad slate

Coby Kyros

This year’s CES could have been renamed the Consumer Tablet Show, with approximately 80 models on display. The tablet market is now a textbook example of buyer beware, because most of those 80...
Coby Kyros

Copia

Copia is a multi-platform e-reading app and bookstore that encourages readers to share highlighted text, notes and bookmarks with other readers. Think of it as a real-time social network for...
Copia

Kiwi Choice U-Powered Battery

From a small Canadian company comes the Kiwi Choice U-Powered battery: it can be charged from a wall plug, a car charger or from the sun, using its fold-out solar panels. Eleven...
Kiwi Choice U-Powered Battery

Monster Outlets To Go™ 300 for Laptops

This slim and light Monster outlet for laptops turns one outlet into three and adds two USB charge plugs. It’s $30 and you need one. More Hot Gadgets

Monster Outlets To Go™ 300 for Laptops

Kensington Wall / Air Ultra Compact Notebook Power Adapter

The Kensington Wall / Air Ultra Compact Notebook Power Adapter replaces your notebook power cord and its two USB outlets will charge iPhones, BlackBerrys, etc. It even plugs into airplane outlets...
Kensington Wall / Air Ultra Compact Notebook Power Adapter

E-reader review: Sony Reader Pocket vs Amazon Kindle

Sony has two new models out but the small and sleek Pocket Edition caught our eye. “Pocket” is marketing exaggeration—this won’t fit in your Levi’s—but it is...
Sony Reader Pocket Edition

Smartphone review

Apple’s Steve Jobs recently took some public shots at his smartphone rivals and those competitors—including RIM’s Jim Balsillie—shot right back. The rare open sparring was...
Windows Phone 7 vs RIM BlackBerry Torch

Duracell myGrid Charging Pad

Or if you’re just tired of plugs, check out the Duracell myGrid charging pad. You have to slip your device into a Power Sleeve or attach a Power Clip, but then you simply drop your handheld on...
Duracell myGrid Charging Pad

Samsung 3D TV

3D is hot right now (see Backspace in this issue for more on that) and Samsung has been an aggressive early player with five different 3D models in Canada. All offer 240 frames per second and range in...
Samsung 3D TV

Flip MinoHD video camera

Flip video cameras became popular because they’re small, super easy to use and deliver good quality. Those attributes continue in the MinoHD, and the new entrant is smaller than its predecessor...
Flip MinoHD video camera

Kensington Wireless Presenter Pro with Green Laser Pointer

Presentation remotes are a must for anyone navigating a PowerPoint in front of a crowd. The problem is many of them suck: you press the Next button and nothing happens. Kensington claims this unit...
Kensington Wireless Presenter Pro with Green Laser Pointer

Rogers Mobile Rocket Stick

Laptops are useless without Internet access, and you can’t always find reliable Wi-Fi. For $0 on a three-year contract, Internet Sticks from Rogers (manufactured by Nokia or ZTE) deliver high...
Rogers Mobile Rocket Stick

Rogers Rocket Hub

To link up a family or workgroup, consider the Rocket Hub. About the size of a hardcover book, the Hub connects to the cell network and creates a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing multiple computers to connect...
Rogers Rocket Hub

Wi-Fi routers | Linksys Valet Wireless Hotspot and E-Series

Linksys set two goals for the recent revamp of its Wi-Fi router family. It wanted to rationalize the lineup to make selection simpler and it sought to make management and setup easier. Mission...
Linksys E-Series routers

Computer backpack review | Tom Bihn vs booq

Earlier this year we tested messenger bags. For our look at computer backpacks we put the winner of that review—Tom Bihn—up against a worthy competitor: booq. And booq won, although it was...
Computer backpack review | Tom Bihn Smart Alec vs booq Mamba Shift

Netbook review | Dell Mini 10 vs Asus Eee PC 1005PE

Netbooks are hot right now: 60 million are expected to ship worldwide in 2010, according to ABI Research, and that will grow to 120 million in 2013. They’re popular because they’re cheap

...

Vuzix Wrap 310

Here’s the promise: “the world’s first sunglass-style portable video eyewear,” the Wrap 310 “features twin high-resolution LCD wide-screen displays, 2D and 3D...
Vuzix Wrap 310

3M BlackBerry and iPhone Privacy Filters

If you have any private information on your BlackBerry or iPhone (and everyone does) consider the people sitting nearby the next time you use your device on an airplane. 3M privacy filters are a...
3M BlackBerry and iPhone Privacy Filters

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer

What’s the worst part of air travel? It’s neither the food nor the cramped seats, it’s the increasingly invasive and complex security check. From Tom Bihn comes the Checkpoint Flyer,...
Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer

Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 for Notebooks

Notebook webcams are great for conferencing with clients and staff but image quality is often poor. And this is especially problematic when you want to read your kid a story from a far-flung hotel...
Microsoft LifeCam HD-6000 for Notebooks

Nokia BH-905

From Nokia comes a stereo Bluetooth headset for those who really like mobile music and really hate headset cords. The build, finish, look, noise cancellation and sound quality of the BH-905 are...
Nokia BH-905

Lenovo ThinkPad T410S

Let’s cover the dollars first: the new 14-inch T410s starts (on sale at time of writing) at $1,600. For that same investment you could equip three employees with a ThinkPad SL410 each ($550 at...
Sleeker and lighter than its T400 cousin, the build quality is excellent

Magellan Premium Car Kit

The company’s car mount ($129.99) charges the iPhone, attaches it to a dash or windshield, and adds a stronger GPS chip, a speaker that is louder than the iPhone by itself and support for...
Magellan Premium Car Kit

Magellan RoadMate 2010 North America

The iPhone 3G and 3GS have onboard GPS chips and ship with Google Maps, but an iPhone will not replace a standalone navigation unit. The GPS chip is not overly powerful and Google Maps does not offer...
Magellan RoadMate 2010 North America

Timex Expedition WS4

If you prefer your exercise on the more rugged side, consider the $300 Expedition WS4. The oversize face displays an altimeter, barometer, compass and thermometer, in addition to pedestrian elements...
Timex Expedition WS4

Timex IronMan Sleek 150-Lap

The new Timex Ironman ($125) builds on traditional training features—lap timers, alarms, water resistance—with advanced options including: Target Time Pacer, an audible alert that...
Timex IronMan Sleek 150-Lap

Motorola Milestone Android phone

Smartphones from RIM and Apple still rule the mobile roost, but Google’s Android operating system has the lead in buzz. The hottest Android phone in the U.S. right now is the Motorola Droid; in...
Motorola Milestone Android phone

Sling Media SlingPlayer Mobile

Slingboxes are small units you hook into a television signal and an Internet link, enabling you to watch your TV stations on any ’net-connected computer. A number of models are available, including...
Sling Media SlingPlayer Mobile

Logitech Squeezebox Radio

Logitech followed up its successful Squeezebox Boom player with the smaller and less expensive Squeezebox Radio, a stylish and functional player that’s a good buy at $230. The Wi-Fi-enabled radio...
Logitech Squeezebox Radio

XM Xpress RCi

Satellite radio is a maturing technology and the Xpress RCi isn’t a huge leap forward, but it does offer some very nice features. The first is the ability to display what’s playing on up to three...
XM Xpress RCi

Messenger bag review winner

Backbone recently generated a full comparative analysis of seven computer messenger bags from the top manufacturers in the business. We’re going to ruin the surprise, though, by announcing the...
Tom Bihn ID messenger bag

Mindflex mind games

From the have-to-see-it-to-believe-it file comes the Mindflex, a game that uses the player’s brainwaves to raise or lower a ball on a column of air. Essentially, it’s an EEG machine hooked up to a...
Mindflex mind games

BlueAnt Q1

Hands-free driving laws are now in effect in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Ontario. B.C. is currently considering a similar move and other provinces may follow. In response,...

Supertooth 3

For those who prefer a speakerphone, BlueAnt also makes the Supertooth 3, which offers similar voice features. It reads out caller IDs and allows you to answer and initiate calls. Our favourite...

Yada Rearview Mirror Speakerphone

Or, if you want to wow passengers in addition to simply answering a call, pick up the Yada Rearview Mirror Speakerphone. It actually clips over your existing rearview mirror. When a phone call comes...

Klipsch Image S4i

If you want headphones that deliver better sound than the Apple freebies, there are a lot of options, but not if you also want headphones that offer the call-answer and play/pause functionality of the...

Samsung 2233RZ 3D monitor

Programmers have worked hard to up the reality level of games: wave effects in water and hair, facial expressions that look (at least almost) real, shadows that travel and twist with the characters,...
Samsung 2233RZ 3D monitor

Logitech Z-5 computer speakers

Notebook computers are great. Notebook computer speakers are lame. So pick up a pair of Z-5s. Why these? Three reasons. First, they are USB powered, so you don’t need an outlet. Second, they come with...

Clickfree Transformer for iPhone

This is simply a good idea: plug the Transformer into an iPhone and into your PC or Mac; the unit then launches on-board backup software and copies important computer files to the unused space on the...

Microsoft Sidewinder X8

Microsoft reintroduced its much-loved Sidewinder line with a gaming mouse in late 2007 and the family now includes a keyboard and a few mice. At the top of the game, though, is the X8. This mouse uses...

Sony Ericsson C905 Cyber-shot

The Smartphone market is very hot right now. Q1 sales are up 33 per cent over the first quarter of 2008, according to IDC, and manufacturers are pumping out innovative devices to meet that demand. The...
Sony Ericsson C905 Cyber-shot

Griffin Navigate

As much as we like the iPhone at Backbone we often miss having an old-fashioned FM radio on board. In steps Griffin with one of the best iPhone/iPod accessories ever made. The Navigate plugs into your...
Griffin Navigate

Flip MinoHD

A year ago Flip hit the market with its small super-simple video cameras and sold a ton of them. This year the company is back with a revamped lineup. The cameras now come in high-def and standard...
Flip MinoHD

Apple iPhone 3GS

The Apple iPhone is arguably the best smartphone on the market today, and the best just got better. While the 3GS is not a huge leap over its predecessor, it adds enough to make the upgrade attractive...
Apple iPhone 3GS

HTC Magic

Google’s Android operating system makes its official entry into Canada with the HTC Magic, and if you like iPhones you might like this HTC quite a lot. It too is a generous touch-screen only device,...
HTC Magic

Dell Vostro notebooks

With companies cutting back on business travel, videoconferencing is taking off. IDC predicts that close to 35 per cent of SMBs will use some form of videoconferencing by 2010. Dell is backing this...
Dell Vostro notebooks

Motorola Moto w233 Renew

Motorola has put a lot of work into environmental initiatives, and that work shows up in the Renew. The entry-level cellphone is made from recycled water bottles and the body itself is entirely...
Motorola Moto w233 Renew

Belkin Conserve surge protector

Many devices in a home—a TV, DVD player, printer—consume power even when not in use. This is called standby or vampire power, and according to Natural Resources Canada it amounts to five to 10 per...
Belkin Conserve surge protector

Apple 13-inch MacBook

If you’re jonesing for a Mac and you want to make a conscientious choice, Apple says it has the notebook for you: its new 13-inch MacBook is free of mercury, uses arsenic-free glass, employs...
Apple 13-inch MacBook

Xerox ColorQube 9200 series multifunction printer

New printers are not as much fun as, say, a new MacBook, but if you really want to reduce your environmental impact, consider this: ColorQube printers employ solid ink, and this change alone greatly...
Xerox ColorQube 9200 series multifunction printer

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1a

The X1a runs Windows Mobile 6, not the most modern nor exciting mobile operating system out there. Having said that, there are two good reasons to take a look at the X1a. The first is the hot arc...
Sony Ericsson Xperia X1a

Mophie Juice Pack and Incase Power Slider

Love your iPhone, wish the battery lasted longer. Sound familiar? If so, check out one of these slide-in, add-on batteries. Both the Juice Pack and the Power Slider work well, both more than...
Lenovo W700 Dual Screen

Storage Appliance Clickfree Transformer Cable

$60 turns any external hard drive you happen to have lying around into an automatic backup device. The Clickfree cable plugs into a computer and then into the hard drive. Once done, pressing the...
Storage Appliance Clickfree Transformer Cable

Lenovo W700 Dual Screen

Okay, it’s actually a portable workstation, and it’s not really the biggest ever: the luggable portable computers from the 1980s were bigger. But the W700ds will have you hearing Comic Book Guy say...
Lenovo W700 Dual Screen

Parrot Minikit Chic

Handsfree legislation is marching across the country, with Ontario’s proposed Bill 118, Countering Distracted Driving, being the latest initiative. From Parrot comes a Bluetooth-powered visor clip-on...
Parrot Minikit Chic

Logitech Alto Connect

Everyone is buying laptops now, and many of them are staring down at their screens, placing stress on their necks. To solve that you need a notebook stand. Logitech has built a useful one by adding...
Logitech Alto Connect

HTC G1

The G1 isn’t officially available in Canada yet but PureMobile will sell you one for about $500. And while the phone itself—with its QWERTY keyboard, 3G connection, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth—is pretty...
HTC G1

Belkin Powerline AV+

Wi-Fi is great, except when walls or distance interfere with the signal, or when you need more speed than wireless delivers. Enter Powerline networking, which uses electrical wires to transmit...
Belkin Powerline AV+
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