Inspecting gadgets

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from the curviest new keyboard to the shiniest charging plate

Tags: HeadphonesLogitech InternationalSennheiser ElectronicUnited Arab Emirates
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Inspecting gadgets
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By  Nathan Statz Published  June 20, 2009 Arabian Computer News Logo

Sennheiser HD 800

Despite the financial crisis being a convenient time to cut the travel budget, quite often time consuming flights to conferences and important meetings can't be avoided. Nobody likes jetlag and enjoying your time in the sky is a sure-fire way to ensure you get the most out of your face time with stakeholders on the ground.

Even the headphones they hand you on a private jet are usually not up to scratch and don't come with standard features like noise reduction - which is why the latest offering from Germany's most famous portable audio company is worth the look. The HD 800s come with a 56 mm sound transducer, which to the non-audiophiles amongst us translates into some serious soundwaves being sent into your brain.

Sennheiser has been a celebrity in the audio market for some time and it is no surprise that this headset has been engineered to meticulous detail. The ear cup has been angled so the sound being sent into your eardrums is crystal clear, though it will take a few listens to adjust too. The engineering team didn't stop there; almost taking the project to excess, the cables themselves have been shielded against electromagnetic disturbance with wires made of silver-plated low-oxygen copper.

The only complaint that should be voiced about these headphones is the size - which comes with the territory of luxury headphones but is definitely noticeable on the HD 800s. While they may not be the most amazing fashion statements, Sennheisers top-end luxury headset are definitely worth the coin for mobile CIOs and those who place a high value on audio quality.

Logitech Comfort Wave 450

Logitech have been a rock star of the consumer computer accessories market for many years, but they are not really an office staple - which is where the business-targeted Comfort Wave 450 looks to come in.

The first thing you notice about the keyboard is that it smiles at you - admittedly, this is due to of the main cluster of QWERTY keys resembling a cheesy grin, but once you get through the many layers of cardboard packaging it will most likely be the first image that beams up at you.

Much like other reasonably high-end keyboards, the feel of the keys is comfortable and lacks the rough factory edge which comes with the generic Dell or HP slab of plastic that comes bundled with most enterprise desktops these days.

Adjusting to the wave-shape of the keys takes a little getting used too. Much like the highly-touted orthopedic keyboards that are out there, you can train your fingers to dance across a new surface, but this does not take into account the need to use multiple devices. Your typical enterprise user will need to switch from desktop to laptop to home PC on an almost daily basis and teaching your fingers to cruise from Comfort Wave to your trusty laptop's rigid rectangle may be a hard sell.

A plus for the Comfort Wave 450 is that it's relatively easy to setup, as a keyboard should be, with no burdensome software bundle required to get all the flashy buttons working. Considering the keyboard will retail for a smidge under US $40, the keyboard could sneak its way into enterprise consideration, though a cute curve and a hand rest is not quite enough to see its way onto the CIOs desk.

Wildcharger Pad

The idea of the Wildcharger Pad is brilliant, almost every member of the IT world carries around a plethora of mobile devices and finding the leads to charge them all is a nuisance. These days it is not uncommon to carry around a smartphone, separate personal mobile phone and an mp3 player. While you can hear the mobile phone manufacturers shrieking about how their marvelous little communication devices can be an all-in-one, the reality is some devices do things better than others.

Coming home at night to a single plate where you can throw your Blackberry, iPod and your personal Nokia onto a plate without looking for little leads that have fallen off the side table sounds great in theory - but like all good things there is a catch. Unfortunately the technology being used to fill your portable with juice is not native to the phone, so the catch to this convenience is you need to encase your device in a sleeve or attach a swing arm onto the back of it.

The sleeve is tailor-made for only a few specific product lines, the BlackBerry Pearl and Curve and the Motorola RAZRs. The newly released Universal Adapter plugs into your charging port and has a swing arm that clicks into place on the back of your device, which works with 150 different devices. Considering there are many thousands of mobile phones out there, it is worth checking to be sure that your cherished chunk of plastic is compatible.

The end result comes down to whether you can handle a foreign sleeve or plastic arm attached to your communication toy of choice, for those that can the shiny Wildcharger is brilliant, though one day the technology will hopefully be native in all phones and we can send charging leads into the abyss for good.

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