The scoop: Swiftpoint Mouse, by Swiftpoint Ltd., about $70.
What it is: This very tiny mouse is aimed at notebook users who don't want to carry around a traditional travel mouse, as well as those who can't stand their notebook's touchpad. The small size of the Swiftpoint Mouse allows users to operate the mouse in the area right below the keyboard and to the side of the touchpad. The design also makes it feel like your hand is using a pen, and not a mouse.
The scoop: FV TouchCam N1, by faceVision, about $120.
What it is: The FV TouchCam N1 is a high-definition Webcam capable of supporting 720p resolution for video calls (not just across a LAN, but over the Internet). The camera is certified by Skype for its HD video calls, and includes hardware encoding of the H.264 protocol (instead of relying on the PC's CPU). Other features include a 78-degree wide angle lens and dual built-in microphones for better sound quality.
The scoop: Galaxy Tab (Sprint version reviewed), by Samsung, about $400 (with two-year contract, plus data service). With no contract, the device costs $600.
What it is: The biggest issue with the Galaxy Tab may be trying to definite what it is. It's a tablet that's smaller than an iPad. It's an Android device that's larger than a smartphone. It's stuck in that middle area between those two categories (iPad and other tablets on one end, Android smartphones and the iPhone on the other).
This issue of Network World features the 2010 edition of Cool Yule Tools. For the last 11 years, I've been collecting, reviewing and highlighting the coolest electronic (and geeky) products for the holiday season. This year is no different; we tried more than 140 products and present our findings in print and online.
Through this process, I've learned some valuable lessons about consumer technology this year, and want to share some of these insights.
It's not even the holiday season yet, and we've got a bunch of boxes coming in daily. This also means that I need to catch up on writing about some items that have been sitting here lately. These are cool items that are easy to talk about quickly without writing a full review:
A lot has been written about the iPhone 4's ability to record HD video, and its inability to upload via the AT&T 3G wireless network (maybe next year, guys). However, there's another way you can record HD video and upload it wirelessly (via Wi-Fi), with the help of two cool tools:
The scoop: DXG-A85V Pro Gear high-definition video camera, by DXG, about $320; and Eye-Fi Pro X2 8GB SDHC card, about $150.
Keith Shaw (complete bio) is Programming Director at Network World, and the award-winning (in his mind, at least) Cool Tools columnist. He's been a writer / editor / podcaster / gadget guy for more than 20 years.