Gadgets

iPhone user

The iPhone 4S includes a new voice recognition feature

You don’t have to go far to get the best business education degree these days. In my case, it is only 1.8 miles – or so Siri, my “humble personal assistant”, advised when I asked her the other day where the best such learning could be found.

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Chris Nuttall

With the holiday shopping season now underway this Black Friday in the US and the Christmas rush also begun in the UK and elsewhere,  there are many bargains to be had in tablets, laptops, digital cameras and big-screen TVs.

There are too many to list here (Retrevo is keeping tabs on some of them), but consider these 10 recommendations instead  for stocking fillers under $100 or £100, as the case may be. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Time has been ticking for Wimm Labs to get its watch-like Android device to consumers in time for the holiday season. Its release to developers on Wednesday, two months later than planned, suggests it won’t be making any Christmas lists.

Nevertheless, after testing it, the Wimm One seems not far off a finished product to me and the potential is there for third-party “micro apps” to give it much more appeal. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Brace yourselves for a health-embracing bracelet from Jawbone, maker of cool Bluetooth headsets and the Jambox wireless speaker.

UP is the name of the wristband and its associated iPhone app and Jawbone is pricing it at $99.99, with availability from Sunday in the US and November 17 in the UK. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Amid all the Apple hoopla of the last fortnight, there has been surprisingly little mention of the potential impact of the new iOS5 on the games console industry.

Combining Apple TV with any iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad running the latest software allows whatever is on the screen of the handheld to appear simultaneously on the big screen, through Airplay Mirroring – including games. The result is something which looks pretty similar to Nintendo’s planned Wii U console, combining a touchscreen wireless controller with traditional console-style gaming. Read more

In a world of smartphones and tablet devices, Hewlett-Packard’s 12c is a relic of the 1980s. An electronic device with one fundamental function: financial calculations. And, by today’s standards, not even a particularly sophisticated financial calculator.

Yet this month, it is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a special “Platinum” edition. The company is coy about figures but it is estimated to sell tens of thousands of these $70 calculators every year. It has never been out of production.

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The whole Taylor family operates a wide mix of smartphones, perhaps reflecting differences in our personalities and preferences.

My two younger daughters (in their 20s) each run Google Android handsets (HTC and Samsung); my son, who lives in the UK, loves his BlackBerry Bold because of its mobile e-mail and free BlackBerry Messenger services; and my eldest daughter, a television field producer in San Francisco, uses a BlackBerry for work and an iPhone 4 for everything else “because it’s cool”. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Travelling gadget-light is easy these days, with smartphones and tablets now as powerful as PCs and fulfilling multiple functions.

However, this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section looks at eight devices to take on vacation that weigh no more in total than a traditional laptop. You can read the column here and click on the links for fuller reviews of the MacBook Air, iPad 2, Seagate GoFlex Satellite, Nook 2nd Edition, Motorola Photon 4G and Sony 3D Bloggie HD.

Chris Nuttall

In the decades since Dick Tracy got his own wristwatch radio in a cartoon strip, many technology companies have tried and failed to produce a successful wristwatch gadget in real life. Wimm Labs, a Silicon Valley startup backed by Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn, is the latest to come up with a wearable device, insisting its own timepiece tells us the wristwatch gizmo’s time has come. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Boxee, the internet entertainment service, is bringing its TV set-top box to the UK this week. Netflix, Pandora and Major League Baseball have proven popular on its D-Link-manufactured device in the US since its launch last year, allowing owners to watch web TV and their own digital downloads on the big-screen TV set. Read more