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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

By Michael Castelluccio
March 3, 2015
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1. LENOVO YOGA

The Lenovo Yoga line includes a wide variety of laptop PCs and Windows and Android tablets. The Yoga Tablet 2 is notable for its striking design, beautiful screen, reasonable price, and, oh yes, a built-in projector that lets you display what you’re doing on a wall or other surface. The Yoga Tablet 2 is available in Windows or Android versions in three screen sizes: 8″, 10″, and 13.3″. Only the 13.3″ model has the projector, so we’ll look at the specs for that model. The large screen is a QHD (2,560 × 1,440) display with a wide 178-degree viewing angle. The metal kickstand folds out to provide an infinite range of angles and stable support. Given the large screen, the Yoga is surprisingly light at 2.09 lbs. The long cylinder on the kickstand edge holds a battery that provides up to 15 hours without recharging. The projector casts up to a 50″ image on a wall or screen, and the 8W sound system has two JBL large-chamber speakers in the front and a subwoofer on the back. The front camera is 1.6-megapixel HD, and the rear is eight megapixels f2.2 with autofocus. www.lenovo.com

 

 

2. EERO WI-FI SYSTEM

 

If your Wi-Fi doesn’t cover the whole house or you’d like it to reach the deck yet the repeater you bought doesn’t always do the job, you might want to look at Eero’s solution for those perpetually buffering dark holes. Produced by a small San Francisco startup, the Eero combines three functions in one system: router, range extender, and repeater. With the system, you can even wirelessly connect several Eeros together to create something that works like a mesh network. The company sells packs of three that you deploy around the house, plugging them into a power outlet and letting them connect back to the first unit, which is plugged into your cable or DSL modem. Each unit has Bluetooth 4 that takes instructions from a mobile app you download on your phone or computer. The base unit will configure the others and even let you admit a visitor onto the network with a couple of taps. Or you can use just one Eero. Each has a 1GHZ dual-core processor, dual Wi-Fi radios, and support for 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. They are small (4.75″ × 4.75″ × 0.85″), with two ports on the back to connect to your modem and another networked device. www.eero.com

 

 

3. INKCASE PLUS

 

The InkCase Plus is a black-and-white second screen for your smartphone that downloads, via Bluetooth, reading content from the phone and displays it on its e-paper screen. You can save the charge on your phone as you download e-mail, news, messages, to-dos, articles, books, and more. The InkCase allows you to read in sunlight and holds a charge that can last about a month. www.inkcase.com

 

 

4. AMAZON KINDLE CONVERT

 

Amazon already has a number of free methods for creating e-books that work on its devices. But those are for making e-books to sell in the Kindle Store. Now Amazon has released Kindle Convert, an app costing $19 that enables you to digitize any scanned document, even those with images, and then create a Kindle e-book. Say you have a manual that exists only in a binder and as a PDF. You can archive a readily accessible e-book version with the Convert software. You scan the pages and run the images through Amazon’s OCR software to convert them to text. Then edit and create the digital book. www.amazon.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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