Technology » Personal Tech

Tech Talk: Fun in the Sun With High-Tech Toys

by Shaun Knittel
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday May 21, 2012

The weather is warming up (did it ever cool down??), and as you begin to populate the beach, take the boat out on the lake, or go on a camping trip, you're going to want to pack the essentials.

For a guy like me, the essentials are my tech toys. I know, I know, when on vacation you're supposed to be disconnected ... yadda yadda. But let's face it; we are a connected lot no matter on which beach or pool deck we find ourselves. Oh well, maybe I don't have to convince you of that fact. After all, you're probably reading this on an iPad. This month, EDGE has compiled a list of must-have high tech toys to help you relax and stay connected during the dog days of summer.

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia says the Lumia 900 is "The smartphone you’ve been waiting for." And they might be right. With built-in social apps, a bold 4.3-inch AMOLED touchscreen, Carl Zeiss 8-megapixel camera, and super fast browsing (4G/LTE), this phone is as sleek and sexy as a phone can get. The advanced hardware sits in a sleek unibody case (which fits comfortably in the hand) and achieves a harmonious fusion of design and technology. Other than the 8-megapixel camera (perfect for Johnny-on-the-spot photos of all those pool parties and Circuit events!), the screen is the star here. Designed to deliver superior viewing and touch experiences, this product is summer-sun friendly as its design reduces distracting reflections so you get crystal clear images, indoors and out.

Kindle Fire 2

It’s official. We are a tablet nation. Smaller than a laptop, bigger than a smartphone, tablets have quickly become the way many of us surf the Net, take notes at a meeting, and check our email and update social network profiles while on the go or at home. But we’re all still struggling financially. So while we’d all love to get our hands on the new iPad 3, not all of us can afford it. The answer? Go with the (not-yet released but soon) Kindle Fire 2. It’s less costly without losing out on most of the essential services; i.e., Web, storage, apps. It’s bigger than the original Kindle Fire - a 10-inch screen in place of predecessor’s 7-inch screen. And it’s, well, cheaper. Either way, the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire 2 are a wonderful alternative to the pricier - but technologically superior - iPad.

iGame Move

Gamers - in particular, gay gamers - are far from stereotypical couch potatoes playing "shoot em’ up" adventures all day. We’re way beyond that. We want to move. So it should come as no surprise that when the Wii came out, we bought it up. Now Microsoft has some competition with the iGame Move, a wireless, real time action, travel-size "camera" system with 23 built-in games. No controller is required as the camera picks up your body movements while you box, golf or dance. The 32-bit, high-resolution graphics look amazing. What’s the coolest thing about the iGame Move? It can run on four AA batteries, making it truly portable; perfect for travel.

Sony SmartWatch

I don’t wear watches. These days, most people rely on other devices -phone, tablet, laptop. But when I heard about the Sony SmartWatch, I took a second look at the ancient way to tell time. The Android technology watch literally keeps the world at your fingertips. It’s easy to use. You can tweet, check email, get weather updates. It will even tell you what time it is. It’s lightweight, clips to any watchstrap and costs just $149.

Shaun Knittel is an openly gay journalist and public affairs specialist living in Seattle. His work as a photographer, columnist, and reporter has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the Pacific Northwest. In addition to writing for EDGE, Knittel is the current Associate Editor for Seattle Gay News.


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