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Tools of the Trade: August 2016

By Michael Castelluccio
August 1, 2016
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08_2016_tools

1. HP SPECTRE 13

 

HP not only created the thinnest full-power laptop with its Spectre 13; the company also invested an attention to style that will distinguish the 13″ ultra-portable beyond its impressive 2.4 lbs. The materials contribute to the strong construction—the lid and hinges are aluminum, and the bottom panel is carbon fiber. HP claims it’s the thinnest at just 0.41″ thick, and the 13.3″ display is a 1,920 × 1,080 full HD IPS, with Gorilla Glass covering the top layer, edge to edge. The display isn’t a touchscreen, but there’s a Spectre 360 two-in-one model that’s touch- and smartpen-enabled. Despite the very thin profile, you can choose between an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU. Memory includes 8GB DDR3 SDRAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. Three USB-C ports support charging, high-speed data transfer, and external displays. Two offer Thunderbolt data transfer with speeds up to 40GB/sec. Battery life is up to nine hours, and the OS is Windows 10. www.hp.com

 

2. NEW KINDLE

 

Amazon has released yet another new version of its classic Kindle reader. Called the New Kindle, this e-reader features a very modest base price of $79. It has no built-in light, just a 6″ glare-free touchscreen. You can purchase or download free books via the built-in Wi-Fi, and like all the other Kindle readers, the pocket book, weighing less than six ounces, will hold thousands of digital books on its internal memory. A single charge of its battery will last weeks, not hours, and the overall size of the device is just 6.3″ × 4.5″ × 0.36″. It’s a great way to pack a bundle of summer reading in a single pocket. www.amazon.com

 

3. GARMIN FENIX 3

 

The Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire Titanium watch is an activity tracker, location marker, and route planner. It can track your pace, speed, distance, and rates of climbing and descending for multiple sports activities—skiing, climbing, running, cycling, and swimming. And it will monitor vital functions and store and share the data with other devices. The GPS/GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning system provides automatic calibration for the altimeter, barometer, and three-axis compass. The GPS system is augmented with an internal omnidirectional steel EXO antenna that provides faster and more accurate position readings than just GPS alone. It can tell you how far you’ve gone, how fast you’ve traveled, where you are, and when you’ll get to where you’re going—you can even get your e-mail on the way. The Chroma display is readable in bright sunlight, and the watch is submersible to 100 meters. The body and band are both titanium. www.garmin.com

 

4. iROLLER CLEANER

 

The iRoller is a different way to clean the smudges, dust, and specks that perpetually accumulate on your touch devices. The device looks something like a lint brush, but the tacky surface on the roller not only lifts dust; it also removes smudges from finger oils. Invented by a plastic surgeon, the roller is reusable and can be cleaned with a stream of warm tap water. It’s small enough to take along with your tablet, smartphone, or GPS, as it measures only 3.75″ × 1″ × 1″ and weighs four ounces. A cover slides over the roller to protect it when not in use. www.thegrommet.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 21 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 19th year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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