Technology roundup

21 Aug 2009 by Mark Caswell brings you the latest travel gadgets and accessories to ease your life on the road. This week: a phone that thinks it’s a watch, a mouse that works on glass surfaces, and a charging station for mutiple devices.

LG Watchphone

Anyone old enough to remember the digital watches that doubled up as calculators in the 1980s, will have a soft spot for this latest collaboration between LG and Orange. On sale from 9am on August 27 from the Orange shop at Bond Street Station, London (on a first-come-first-serve basis) the LG Watchphone does exactly what it says on the tin, incorporating a 3G+ mobile phone with a touchscreen interface, built-in speaker, mp3 player and voice-activated commands, into a sleek-looking digital watch. A limited number of the devices will also be made available from mid-September via the Orange online shop.

Price £500

Logitech Performance Mouse / Anywhere Mouse MX

If you’ve ever tried using a laser mouse on a glass surface, you’ll know that at best the performance can be sketchy, and at worst it simply won’t work at all. Apparently it’s all to do with the glass not having enough textural reference points for the laser to pick up on. But the clever guys at Logitech have changed all that , by incorporating something called “dark field microscopy” technology into a new range of mice which will work on both high-gloss and clear-glass surfaces. They come with a five-year guarantee, and what’s more Logitech has designed a compact version ideal for business travellers.

Price from £69.99

Vertu – Carbon Fibre Ascent Ti

If you appreciate the craftsmanship of a fine watch or a super car, and are prepared to pay to stand out from the crowd, then Vertu’s latest luxury phone, the Carbon Fibre Ascent TI, is for you. Handmade in the UK (each phone is signed inside by the craftsman), the design is remarkable, and features tailor-made titanium carbon fibre, (usually associated with motor sports and aerospace industries), a sapphire crystal display, stainless steel keys and black leather detail. It’s not a Smart phone but it has all the 3G technology you need, and for the first year you get a free concierge service at the touch of a button. It’s a good-looking phone, feels sturdy, and will certainly raise eyebrows. Vertu says it is more of a “lifestyle choice” than a phone.

Price from £6,000


Part design statement and part desk tidy, Refresh allows users to charge up to four devices simultaneously, eliminating tangled wires from the desktop. The multiple charging station is compatible with over 1,000 products, and incorporates an iPod connector, standard and mini USB sockets, and a micro USB interface, a standard which is gradually being introduced by many major brands. The ultra-modern design is available in white, black and pink, and comes with an international AC adaptor.

Price USD$89.95

Canon Digital IXUS 120 and 200 IS

Budding photographers take note – Canon is adding two new compact cameras to its digital IXUS range. The 200 IS model is the first IXUS camera to feature a touchscreen display, along with a 24mm ultra-wide angle 5x zoom lens, while the 120 IS becomes the slimmest wide-angle camera in the Digital IXUS range, and features a 28mm 4x zoom lens. Both models offer 12.1 megapixel resolution, and are available from early September.

Price £299 for the 120 IS, and £329 for the 200 IS


Manufacturer Datawind claims this is the first netbook to offer free internet access in the UK and low-cost roaming in Europe. Users pay a one-off fee of £159.99, for which they receive the Ubisurfer device (a 700g netbook featuring a seven-inch display, Qwerty keyboard, touchpad mouse, 128MB RAM and 1GB Flash memory) with a year’s free wifi, LAN and Vodafone-enabled GPRS internet access (up to 30 hours per month). Unlimited access can be purchased for £5.99 per month, and roaming in Europe costs five pence per minute.

Price £159.99

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