Businesstraveller.com brings you the latest travel gadgets and accessories to make life on the road easier. This week: Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G,
Plextor PX-NAS2 drive and the iPhone OS4 and iPad
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
Sony Ericsson has officially launched the latest smartphone model in its Xperia range. Packed with social networking and media applications, the X10 is really aimed at the leisure market but then so was the iPhone. The phone’s two main selling points are its Timescape and Mediascape applications, which are one stop shops for social networking/email and media respectively. The Windows OS has also been improved this time around from earlier Xperia models, or rather completely replaced by Android 1.6. Unlike the ill-fated X2, this device does not have a dual touchscreen/slide-out touchscreen, which is an indication that it leans towards leisure use. Other specs of interest include an 8.1MP camera, stereo Bluetooth for those expensive wireless headphones (not included), A-GPS for satnav apps and a widescreen 4 inch screen. And best of all, because it runs Android, all those lovely free Google applications are available to it.
PRICE Free on contract from O2, Orange, Vodafone and T-Mobile
Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G
Acer’s latest round of Aspire laptops includes the 8943G, which as the price suggests is packed with lots of nice technology, such as an Intel Core i5 processor (as standard, i7 available), 4GB RAM (upgradeable to a whopping 16GB) and an 18.4” full-HD Acer CrystalBrite LCD screen. Should the standard 320GB hard drive not be enough for all your MP3s and Family Guy episodes, there’s the option to bump it up to 1.2TB. The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850/5650 graphics chip means it’s powerful enough to run most processor-hungry visuals.
PRICE From £1099.99
Plextor PX-NAS2 drive
You wouldn’t want to carry one of these storage drives in your pocket, but they’d be very useful at home or even on your office network. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage, which is pretty self-explanatory. These are essentially file-sharing devices usually with large hard drives that can be networked allowing them to be accessed by multiple workstations, or if used at home they can be attached to a wireless router and accessed from anywhere within wifi range. The PX-NAS2 is aimed at the consumer, but it brings with it a lot of advanced features normally only available to SMEs and larger such as secure, user-controlled access and data encryption. The PX-NAS2 is also compatible with Macs, media players and games consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PS3. There are three versions available: no HDD (file sharing control only), 1TB or 2TB.
PRICE From £156
iPhone OS 4
Ahead of the rumoured launch of the iPhone 4G comes an update of the existing OS, possibly a way for Apple to whet appetites and give some indication of the issues the new 4G will solve. The new OS answers some of the criticisms of the current software, a good indication that Apple is listening to its customers. Among the “100 new features” is the ability to multi-task, that is the ability to run multiple apps at once and bringing the iPhone up to speed with rivals such as the excellent HTC Hero. There will also be folders, a unified inbox, deeper Enterprise support, and an iPhone version of iBooks reader.
OS 4 will be available to download this Summer, and a version for the iPad in the Autumn.
Apple iPad on O2
In more Apple-related news, O2 has announced that it will be offering a dedicated iPad pricing plan for all models from the end of May. Whether this applies to both the 3G and wifi-only models remains to be seen, as it’s possible the wifi-only could come with some kind of BT Openzone-like arrangement providing access to hotspots around the country. However it’s much more likely that this will be for 3G only. While the iPad is not a phone in itself, users will be able to use VoIP services via 3G, the most famous being Skype. However, this does highlight the absence of a camera on the iPad.
App of the Week
A fun app this week with possibly serious monetary repercussions, the Bet Settler app for the iPhone is good for both amateur and avid gamblers alike. Business travellers with a penchant for the occasional flutter and those of you out there that didn’t lose your life savings on the Grand National, can download the app through the iTunes store. The app from developers Moonswing can calculate various odds and various forms of bet, such as to win, placed and each way. There’s also a detailed betting glossary for the uninitiated John McCririck-wannabes.