Personal Tech Guide

Your guide to what's hot, useful, and just plain fun.

TV Tune-UpTV Tune-Up
Akai tossed out the lamps in its new Digital Light Processing high-def TVs and replaced them with a three-color LED light source. The result: sharper resolution, a more efficient system that lasts longer, and no more rainbow effect from the color wheel of previous models. Two 1,080-pixel models, at 46 inches and 52 inches, are priced at $2,299 and $2,699.

Does Your Phone Yahoo?Does Your Phone Yahoo?
Cingular Wireless' new Nokia handset provides quick access to Yahoo services such as Web mail, photos, instant messaging, and local search. The $200 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) Nokia 6682 has Yahoo Go Mobile service built in, so you also have access to an address book, a calendar, image search, and customized news, weather, and sports.

Mini MacMini Mac
Not in the mood for a Big Mac? How about a mini? Apple's new Intel-based Mac mini measures just 6.5-by-6.5-by-2 inches, but packs plenty of punch. It comes in two configurations: For $599, you get a 1.5-GHz Intel Core Solo chip and a 60-Gbyte hard drive. For $799, Apple bumps the processor to a 1.66-GHz Intel Core Duo chip with an 80-Gbyte drive.

iPod jacketiPod Hits The Slopes
Face it, iPods aren't exactly made for winter sports. That is, unless you're wearing a new made-for-iPod jacket from Kenpo. Your iPod stays safe and warm in the jacket's inner pocket. Music control is accomplished from a touch pad on the bottom of the left sleeve. And since the $275 jacket is powered by your iPod, there's no need to carry around batteries.

Powergrid FitnessGamer's Workout
Love to play video games, but worried you're spending too much time on the couch? Now you can get some exercise, too. Powergrid Fitness swears its $200 Exer-station, loaded with sensors to measure how hard you're pushing and pulling on the video-game controller, can help you burn 350 calories per hour. Works with PlayStation, Xbox, and GameCube. Effort level can be adjusted, and an LCD shows pounds lifted and calories burned.

Spotwave WirelessMore Bars
Spotwave Wireless is trying to rid your vocabulary of the phrase "Can you hear me now?" Because chances are--at home, anyway--the answer is no. The $400 Zen system improves the indoor signal strength of cell phones, PDAs, and other mobile devices across the entire PCS band. Coverage up to 2,500 square feet.

CableFree USB HubNo More Wires
Tidy up that home office with the CableFree USB Hub from Belkin. The $130 wireless device cuts the leash on printers, scanners, MP3 players, and other peripherals, letting you work on your laptop anywhere in the room while staying connected to your USB devices. The best part: no software required. Instead, the device uses Freescale Semiconductor's Ultra-Wideband technology.

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