The Olivepad VT 100 is the countryís first official 3G tablet.
The 7 inch WVGA screen is surrounded by a black bezel, a silver spine and glossy black rear with a mirror finish. The feel is quite plasticky, and it doesnít look like it can survive nasty bumps or a fall.
Apart from a custom dock at the bottom, the UI is vanilla Android 2.1. There are five home screens and you can add widgets and shortcuts, like on any Android phone. On top, there are SIM card and memory card slots, along with volume keys. Thereís a VGA camera on the front for video calls. The 3 MP main camera isnít really a killer but does the job. Likewise for its music capabilities; you get a 3.5 mm jack, but no FM.
Connectivity-wise, itís typical again. The SIM card slot lets you access the Web and make calls too. But youíd look dorky holding the device to your ear, so a headset is recommended.
Usage isnít bad. The capacitative touchscreen is responsive, and supports pinch zooming. The extra screen real estate comes in handy for Web browsing and videos. But the screen isnít really crisp. You get access to Android Market, but the weird screen resolution limits usable apps. The pre-installed Aldiko e-book reader works well though. Text input is via a full-blown QWERTY and comes with predictive text. Typing isnít smooth; the device doesnít register touches sometimes.
The Olivepad is stuck in no manís land: Too big for a phone and short of delivering the full tablet experience.
At about 15k, it would have been a great gadget; at the current price, itís approaching iPad territory.
Rs. 25,000, olivetelecom.in
The Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth headset makes you look like a telecaller. But despite the design, itís a premium product, feather-light, well put together and comfortable. The behind-the-ear loop design might stick out, but its comfortable: You can wear it all day long without ever noticing it. Limited buttons, thoughtfully placed, ensure hassle-free use. The ear-piece rotates, which means the headset can be used on both ears. A swivelling boom mic and a flexible ear band make getting a comfortable fit easy. And it comes generously accessorised: Wall charger, car charger, USB charging cable and an extra pair of silicone tips. Performance-wise, itís the best weíve seen so far. Even in traffic, reception is clear and natural. Plantronicís Audio IQ2 suppresses wind noise ó you can talk business sitting before a turbine! For performance over aesthetics, itís the best Bluetooth headset money can buy.
Rs. 4,199, plantronics.com
Studio Gorm, a collaboration between John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong, has recently updated their flexible furniture system, Peg. Inspired by several objects such as the shaker peg rail, the Korean wall-hung table, the tinker toy and even the lowly shop broom, the collection comprises benches and tables in four sizes, as well as a lamp. No nails, screws or glue: You assemble them by inserting the pegs in the allocated locations. When not in use, simply dismantle the components and hang them on the peg rail provided. The tabletops are made from a variety of American hardwood like oak, hickory, ash, beech, etc. The benches use solid beams of douglas fir with hemlock legs. Also available are optional bench tops which can be attached with the wooden pegs and withdrawn. The lamp comprises a wooden base and ceramic shade. The expanded Peg collection will be exhibited at the Direktorenhaus art space in Berlin.
Deep Pocket, High Spirit, Big Head, Get Charged, First Cut, Easy Listening: Text and pictures courtesy T3. Snap: Text and picture courtesy Better Interiors.
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