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Pros

Excellent performance

Range of magnetic attachments

Easy to use

Great build quality

Cons

Expensive

Our Verdict

It’s eye-wateringly expensive but the astonishing performance, ease of use and wide range of handy magnetic attachments just about justifies its price.

Best Prices Today: Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

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Price

$382.79 ($5.16 / Ounce)

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Hair drying technology hasn’t changed for around 50 years, mainly because of the bulky motors you find inside the dryers.

The same could have been said for vacuum cleaners until James Dyson’s clever cyclone technology did away with dust bags and brought in stylish new designs and superior cleaning (even without mains power). Then Dyson has turned its air flair towards hair care.

The Dyson Supersonic is a big name for a small device, albeit one with a gasp-worthy price tag.

Design & Build

The Supersonic is compact and lightweight (560g without attachments), compared to models that can weigh over 1kg. That said, there are hair dryers out there at around the same weight.

Chris Martin / Foundry

Dyson calls the dryer “engineered for balance”. Conventional dryers can be uncomfortable because they are heavy and require odd postures to reach all the hair. If it takes you more than ten minutes to dry your hair, your arm and wrist are going to take the punishment of such heavy, unwieldy dryers.

Due to the much-reduced size of Dyson’s motor it has been removed from the head of the product to the dryer’s handle itself. For better balance the centre of mass has to be moved as close as possible to the hand or pivot point.

And taking the motor from the head allows the length of the dryer barrel to be reduced, meaning it can get closer to the head while your elbow stays closer to your body rather than having to bring the elbow away.

There’s another benefit, too: instead of sucking air in the back of the dryer, it’s sucked in at the base of the handle. This helps to prevent hair getting sucked in and burned, and we also like that the filter is easily removable to clean.

Intelligent Heat Control

We tend to associate healthy hair with shiny hair, and protecting hair from extreme heat will help improve the shine.

When you use any product that goes above 150°C structural changes start to take place in the hair. If hair is heated excessively it can punch holes in the strand, causing light to scatter – with the end result that damaged hair ends up looking dull.

Dyson’s intelligent heat-control system measures the temperature of the airflow, and feeds that information back to the microprocessor 20 times per second. If it starts to get too hot the system will cool down the heating element, which means the airflow will never exceed a certain extreme temperature at the outlet.

So when you put the heat setting at the highest level it will always stay at a constant temperature rather than going too high or too low during the styling. Even the “no heat” option is set as a constant 28°C.

Fast Drying

At its highest speed and heat settings the Supersonic is one of the fastest hair dryers available – some testers say that it can dry hair in half the usual time.

Dyson says that the problem with standard hairdryers is that they have conventional motors that are bulky and slow.

The firm’s digital motor, the V9, is at the heart of the hair dryer, spinning at up to 110,000 revolutions per minute with what Dyson calls an “inaudible frequency”. Again this is down to clever design: the motor uses 13 rather than 11 blades, which pushes one tone within the motor to a sound frequency beyond the audible range of humans.

Dyson also uses a rubber mount to reduce the vibration between the handle and the motor.

Maybe Dyson thinks it’s been so long since we associated the word “supersonic” with Concorde (or V9 with racing car engines) that it can use the term for something that’s supposed to be ultra low noise. Actually this Supersonic is really quiet, less than 75dB in our tests. It’s not inaudible but it is noticeably quieter than other dryers.

It’s faster (8x, claims Dyson) and lighter (on average half the weight) than most other dryer motors. Its tiny fan is only 27mm wide.

To dry hair you need a combination of velocity and temperature. Heat on its own would evaporate the water from the hair but it would take a very long time. Velocity helps to strip water off from the surface of the hair.

The V9 motor can create high airflow pressures. It draws in 0.8 cubic metres of airflow per minute, and this is amplified as the air passes through air-multiplier technology to 2.4 cubic metres per minute. That means that the airflow is removing more water so the dryer needs less heat to get the job done.

Attachments & Performance

Hair dryers aren’t just for drying hair. They’re also for styling and sculpting hair.

The Dyson smoothing nozzle gives a more widespread airflow. This means you can style and dry at the same time, reducing the “race” to get the styling done before the hair is dry. That said some of our testers found that even at low heat the Supersonic dried the hair almost too fast to allow styling.

Our testers were impressed with how drying with the Supersonic made their hair straighter and smoother.

One of our testers curses her hair’s “horrible wave and frizz”. Normally she has to dry her hair and then use straighteners. She praised the Dyson for drying her hair without the need for straighteners. It was also less frizzy.

A second tester also came to the same conclusion, saying that her hair was “really smooth – as if straightened – and that it wasn’t at all frizzy or flyaway” after using the Supersonic. She was also impressed that the dryer didn’t get hot, and was safe to put down immediately after using it (with kids around).

Clever design means that the heat is kept away from the nozzle. Dyson calls this Heat Shield technology, which keeps the surfaces of the attachments cool.

The Dyson diffuser disperses air evenly around curls, helping to reduce frizz and improve definition. The Dyson Concentrator creates wider airflow, so should require fewer brush strokes for precise styling. With the concentrator you can shape your hair one section at a time.

The nozzle and other accessories attach magnetically, which received praise from all of our testers. It brings to mind Apple’s MagSafe laptop power connectors.

The most recent attachment for the Supersonic is the Flyaway. Dyson says this is inspired by professional stylists and the idea is to give you a smooth, salon-quality finish.

Directing the airflow around the curve of the attachment and out of a hole, a Coanda effect occurs where your hair sticks like a magnet. Working top to bottom, it improves a straight style while stopping ‘flyaway’, or loose, hair.

It works very well and is easy to apply even at the back by rotating the magnetic attachment to a convenient angle. The result is quite flat, though, so if you prefer more volume, another technique or a combination of attachments may be needed.

Settings & Functions

There are three speed settings (Fast drying, Regular drying and Styling) and four precise heat settings (100°C Fast drying and styling, 80°C Regular drying, 60°C Gentle drying, and 28°C Constant cold), though to change the temperature or speed you need to stop drying, which some might find a bother.

The Supersonic features ionic functionality. The hair is conditioned by negatively charged ions, created by passing air over an electric current.

Pumping out negative ions cancels out the static that builds up when you’re touching, brushing and styling your hair. This can help protect hair (especially at high heat), reduce frizz, improve shine and remove static.

Price & Availability

The Dyson Supersonic costs $399.99 or £299.99, which makes it one of the priciest hair dryers around. It’s available in a range of colours.

If you want an even more luxurious gifting option, there’s the $499.99/ £399.99 23.75 karat gold version. This comes in a striking blue finish with genuine gold leaf, and also includes the protective case – so it’s really only a $50/ £70 premium for the extra gold.

It’s also worth noting that you can buy the Supersonic from Dyson refurbished for £239.99. It comes in a basic cardboard box but still has free delivery, a 1-year guarantee and the 35-day money-back guarantee still applies, too.

temperature and airflow settings that will help create a wider range of styles.

With the Dyson Supersonic you’re buying not just the cutting edge technology and design, but a statement. Owning a Dyson Supersonic is a bit like owning an Apple product. You get top quality but at a premium price.

But caring for your hair and achieving a great style are serious matters, and with most haircuts and styling costing over £100 a go that £300/$400 investment isn’t as great as it first appears.

However, competitors have followed where Dyson led and for a similar price point, you can now buy the similarly luxe Zuvi Halo, which offers a cooler styling experience. And if you want the Supersonic experience for less, you might want to check out the Laifen Swift, which is under half the price of the Supersonic.

Verdict

The Dyson Supersonic is a technological wonder (dare we call it “cutting edge”), which promises to be kinder to your precious hair, more comfortable on previously weighed down arms, quiet, and faster at drying and styling.

Our testers were impressed with the Supersonic but initially aghast at the high price tag, although we think that $399/ £299 isn’t that much money when compared to the price of a quality haircut, let alone the care of your precious hair.

You might even save some money by having to use less hair product as well as valuable time. It’s very fast at drying (some may find it a little too fast when drying at low speed), super quiet, simple and comfortable to use, and with some neat design features such as the magnetic attachments.

There are certainly cheaper, high-quality hair dryers available but we think the hair-friendly Dyson Supersonic is smart enough to justify the comparatively high price tag. To have a look at its rivals, check out our round-up of the best hair dryers we’ve tested.

Specs Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer: Specs

Power: 1,600 Watts

Airflow: 41 litre per second

Weight: 659g

Dimensions: 245-x-78-x-97mm (H x W x D)

Cable length: 2.7m

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Why Dyson Is Going All

Lithium-ion batteries power an abundance of modern devices, from electric cars like a Chevy Bolt, to iPhones, to handheld vacuum cleaners from the likes of Dyson. 

In fact, in James Dyson’s new memoir, Invention: A Life, he notes that at one point, around 2012 to 2014, his company—famous for its battery-powered vacuum cleaners, as well as other gadgets—was “consuming something like 6 percent of the global supply of lithium-ion batteries.” 

That’s just one fascinating detail in a volume that recounts Dyson’s trailblazing career: In his early days, he sold a boat called the Sea Truck, then he invented a new kind of wheelbarrow called the Ballbarrow, and eventually created a vacuum cleaner design that employs cyclones—rapidly spinning air—to separate out the dirt, instead of relying on a bag to do that job. 

Dyson also devotes a chapter to the company’s electric car, which it developed but did not sell; he also writes about the company’s work on developing better batteries. “One of the reasons—not the only reason, but a subsidiary reason—we stopped the car,” Dyson says, “is that we’ve got to invest very heavily in our new solid-state battery technology, which is undoubtedly what will go on to transform transportation as it gets more efficient.”

“That’s the area we’re working in,” he says, referring to solid-state battery tech. “We’re going into production now.” 

A solid-state battery has a key difference from the traditional type of lithium-ion batteries that are common today—more on exactly what they are in a moment. “The potential of that technology is undoubtedly the future, for batteries at least,” he says.

“We’ve got a lot of battery-operated products coming online, not just in our current field,” he adds, “but in other fields, for which these batteries will be an essential and really important part.” 

Products with its next-gen batteries will be debuting “pretty soon,” he says.

Here’s what to know about what a solid-state lithium-ion battery is—why it promises to be a step forward from the way regular lithium-ion batteries work, and why the new tech could be an asset in a device as quotidian as a hand-held vacuum cleaner.

How does a regular lithium-ion battery work?

At its most simple, a basic lithium-ion battery cell contains two electrodes. One is the positive electrode, or the cathode. The other is the negative side, or anode. And tiny lithium ions, which have a positive charge to them, play a key role in how the cell functions. 

When the battery is charged, lithium ions are on the negative side; the most basic kind of lithium-ion battery stores those ions in graphite in the anode. That graphite is “a bunch of sheets of hexagons that are connected,” says Greg Less, the technical director of the University of Michigan Battery Lab. “The lithium ions slide in between those sheets, and find a place where they are comfortable.”

When you charge a battery, electrons flow from the wall socket and make their way to the negative side of the battery and the graphite sheets. Meanwhile, the positively-charged lithium ions are on the same side, balancing out the negative charge of the electrons. 

[Related: GM is recalling all its Bolts, but there’s no need to panic about EV safety]

When you use the battery to do something, like power a motor in an electric car, the electrons flow out of the cell through a circuit, and the lithium-ions inside the battery move to the other side of the battery cell. Now those lithium ions are over on the cathode. The process continues when you charge the battery again and the ions move back over to the anode. 

“We’re pushing electrons back and forth through the external circuit, and pushing positive ions back and forth inside of the cell,” he says. This animation from the US Department of Energy shows the process well; the positive electrode (the cathode) is on the left. 

As the lithium ions shuttle back and forth within the cell, they travel through a liquid electrolyte, like swimmers in a pool of water. Finally, a separator inside the cell keeps the two sides separate. It allows lithium ions to pass through it, but not electrons. 

[Related: The enormous cost of the Bolt EV recall is falling on LG]

A solid-state battery replaces the liquid electrolyte—the pool of water that allows the lithium-ion swimmers to travel back and forth—with a solid one. 

So why replace the liquid electrolyte? “The reason we want to remove the liquid electrolyte is that it’s heavy,” Less says. “It’s expensive and it’s flammable—and flammability is one of the big issues.” That’s because, he says, “the electrolyte is literally a liquid fuel.” 

So why would this tech be helpful in a device like a vacuum cleaner?

Because a solid-state battery would be more energy-dense, it could hold more of a charge, meaning that the electric vacuum you’re holding in your hand and pushing around your home lasts longer. “If you can put more power into a cordless vacuum cleaner, that’s huge,” Less says. “Trying these high-energy-density cells into a vacuum cleaner, or power tools, makes a lot of sense.” 

Ultimately, Less doesn’t see solid-state batteries as necessarily replacing every kind of battery there is. For example, people still use regular alkaline batteries in their remote controls, and combustion-engine cars still have a lead-acid battery in them to get the vehicle started. Solid-state lithium-ion batteries may be best used to power something like a vacuum cleaner for now, before moving them into a bigger item like an electric car. 

“You’re not going to realistically start with electric vehicles with solid-state,” he says, “you’re going to take the baby step and do a household item like a vacuum cleaner.”

Kylie Jenner: The Queen Of Flawless Makeup And Hair

Kylie Jenner is the founder and owner of Kylie Cosmetics, a successful makeup brand that specialises in lip kits, and she is also known for her ability to create different looks with her makeup and hair, from natural to bold and dramatic. Kylie Jenner is often seen experimenting with different hairstyles and colours, from long and straight to short and curly, and from blonde to black. She is also known for her ability to style her hair in different ways, such as sleek and straight or voluminous and wavy.

In terms of makeup, Kylie Jenner is known for her flawless and radiant skin and her ability to create a variety of looks with her makeup, from natural to bold and dramatic. She is often seen experimenting with different shades of lip colours, eye shadows, and eyeliners, and she is also known for her ability to contour and highlight her face to achieve a sculpted and defined look.

Jenner has also been credited with popularising certain makeup trends, such as “over-lined lips,” which is a technique of applying lip liner outside the natural lip line to create the illusion of fuller lips. Kylie Jenner’s beauty looks are often seen as aspirational, and many fans look up to her for inspiration and tips on how to achieve similar looks.

Why is Kylie Jenner Known as The Queen of Perfect Makeup and Hair?

Kylie Jenner is known as the “queen of flawless makeup and hair” because of her ability to consistently create impeccable and polished looks. She has a keen understanding of current beauty trends, and her makeup and hair always appear perfectly executed and on point. Her makeup and hair always appear flawless, whether she is wearing a bold, dramatic look or a more natural, understated look.

She is also known for her experimentation and willingness to try new things with her hair and makeup. She has tried a wide range of hairstyles, colours, and makeup looks and is not afraid to take risks and try new things. She has experimented with different hair colours, from dark brown to blonde, and she has also tried a wide range of hairstyles, from long and straight to short and curly.

Jenner has also been credited with popularising certain makeup trends, such as “over-lined lips,” which is a technique of applying lip liner outside the natural lip line to create the illusion of fuller lips. This technique has become widely popular among makeup enthusiasts and makeup artists. Kylie Jenner’s influence in the beauty industry is undeniable, and her ability to consistently create flawless makeup and hair looks has solidified her reputation as the “queen of flawless makeup and hair.”

10 Kylie Jenner Diva Looks

These includes −

Bold and Beautiful − Kylie Jenner often wears bold and dramatic makeup looks, such as a smoky eye with a dark lip colour.

Glamorous Waves − Kylie Jenner is often seen with glamorous, wavy hair that is styled to perfection.

Sleek and Straight − Kylie Jenner also rocks sleek and straight hair, which gives her a more polished and refined look.

Bold Lips − Kylie Jenner is known for her bold lip colours, from deep reds to bright pinks, and she often experiments with different shades and textures.

Natural Beauty − Kylie Jenner also demonstrates her natural beauty by showing off her natural face with little to no makeup.

Bold Eye Makeup − Kylie Jenner is known for her ability to create bold and dramatic eye makeup looks, such as smoky eyes or a cut crease.

Blonde Bombshell − Kylie Jenner has also experimented with blonde hair, which gives her a more playful and flirtier look.

Contoured and Defined − Kylie Jenner is known for her ability to contour and highlight her face to achieve a sculpted and defined look.

Glitter and Blam − Kylie Jenner often adds a touch of glitter to her makeup looks, which gives her a more glamorous and diva-like appearance.

Bold and Unique − Kylie Jenner is not afraid to take risks and try new things, and she often comes up with unique and bold looks that set her apart from others.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Kylie Jenner is known as the “queen of flawless makeup and hair” due to her ability to consistently create impeccable and polished looks, her understanding of current beauty trends, and her experimentation and willingness to try new things with her hair and makeup. She has tried a wide range of hairstyles, colours, and makeup looks and popularised certain makeup trends, such as over-lined lips. Her influence in the beauty industry is undeniable, and her reputation as the “queen of flawless makeup and hair” is well-deserved. She continues to inspire many people with her unique and bold looks, and her beauty tutorials and makeup tips are widely followed by her fans.

2024 Kia Seltos Review

2024 Kia Seltos Review – Small Crossover Has Big Ambitions

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in this case, I’m referring to the 2023 Kia Seltos. You may know that ‘Seltos’ derives from ‘Celtos,’ the son of Greek god Hercules who was fatefully conceived amid a blackmailing affair with princess Celtine. Kia’s hierarchy is a little less melodramatic, with Hercules in this case referring to the magnificent Telluride, a three-row SUV that I absolutely love. The Telluride was good enough to run away with the 2023 World Car of the Year award, no small achievement. Is the son of Hercules good enough to merit its own praise?

Legend has it that Hercules kindheartedly left his mighty bow to Celtine. The order was to pass the bow to their future child, but only if it were a boy; should he prove strong enough to string the bow, he would be powerful enough to become king. Back down in the Kia showroom, meanwhile, Seltos inherited the rugged styling of the Telluride, though that’s not so say Hercules’s son will necessarily be as strong and capable as his old man.

The reality, perhaps unsurprisingly, is yes it is. Kia has been churning out some impressive models of late, the latest being the K5 sedan. I have yet to drive the K5, but I’m expecting it to be good – or probably better or ‘sportier’ – than Hyundai’s Sonata. Until then, I’ve been spending some time behind the wheel of Kia’s newest compact crossover.

Riding on the same underpinnings as the Hyundai Kona, the Seltos is thankfully deprived of the Kona’s peculiar façade. Instead, the Seltos has a more rugged, semi-boxy countenance. It’s a welcome respite from the oddball shapes of competitors like the Toyota CH-R, Honda HR-V, and, yes, the Kona too. I suspect the more conventional SUV cues will have broader mass-market appeal.

Stacked headlights flank Kia’s tiger grille, while the floating roof design adds some interest around the C-pillar. The assertive fascia is coupled with a longer wheelbase, shorter overhangs in the front and rear, and around 7.2-inches of ground clearance.

Meanwhile, the front and rear bumper are designed to improve the vehicle’s approach and departure angles when forging over rough terrain. Whereas other compact SUVs like the Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V are clearly meant for on-road driving first, the Kia Seltos begs you to reconsider. Just how capable it’ll actually be if you listen to that plea will depend in no small part on the engine.

The 2023 Kia Telluride is available in five trim models: LX, S, S Turbo, EX, and SX. The Seltos LX, S, and EX have a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, producing 146 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. For me, that’s plenty of get-up-and-go torque, and a reasonable power to weight ratio for the intended audience. If you want more, the Seltos S Turbo and SX pack a turbocharged 1.6-liter with direct-injection, good for 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Power is fed to the front wheels courtesy of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that Kia refers to as an Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT). Front-wheel drive is standard, while Kia’s torque-vectoring AWD is optional across the range.

I’ve driven both engines in the Hyundai Kona, and my money is on the turbocharged version. My test vehicle was the top-of-the-line Seltos SX AWD, with base prices starting at $27,890. It’s well-equipped with LED headlights and fog lights, a 7-inch digital color instrument cluster, a massive 10.25-inch infotainment display with UVO link and navigation, 18-inch alloy wheels, and automatic climate control.

The optional white/black roof paint and carpeted floor mats rang up $475 more. Combined with $1,120 destination, my 2023 Kia Seltos SX Turbo AWD has an MSRP of under $30k, or $29,485 to be exact.

The Seltos feels light and nimble on its feet. The steering, like most modern cars, feels slightly overboosted at higher speeds.

Meanwhile, the interior offers plenty of room in the front, while the second-row seats can recline to offer maximum space and comfort. And despite being a small SUV, the Seltos offers 26.6 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats up. Folding down the rear seats allows for up to 62.8 cubic feet of space to carry larger and longer items.

The Seltos is a roomy and practical small crossover, but the ride quality is not what I was expecting. The stiff and somewhat fidgety ride quality is something to bear in mind, though it was never bad enough to upset the overall driving experience. Also worth noting are the tire and wind noise at higher speeds. In this regard, the Seltos is primarily aimed at a younger audience – or those young enough to live with these compromises.

Overall, the 2023 Kia Seltos is good enough to merit Hercules’ approval. Starting at $21,990, the base Seltos is on par – and, if I dare say, offers more bang for your buck – than an equivalent Mazda CX-30, Subaru Crosstrek, and even the Hyundai Kona. It’s a competitive segment, but at the end of the day the Seltos manages to give the impression of getting a lot more car for just a little more money.

Slashgear Week In Review

SlashGear Week in Review – Week 30 2009

Anyone with even the simplest of home theaters today probably has several remote controls lying around. If you do I am betting you are probably the only one capable of working the system in your house. A cool universal remote called the MX-5000 with a haptic touchscreen was unveiled that supports Wi-Fi and RF communication. Sounds cool right up until you get to the part where the price is going to be $1,500. I’ll take a Harmony One thank you. Early this week HP also debuted a new ProBook 4310s notebook that starts at $779.The machine has some nice options and specifications for those looking for more power than a netbook has to offer.

Windows Mobile 6.5.1 ROM was demoed on video this week and the new mobile OS has been tweaked to support touch screens, something we can agree is needed today. Intel launched some very nice new SSDs this week that are cheaper and have better performance than its previous SSDs. A new SSD with 320GB of storage is set to debut at the end of July according to some rumblings we heard. Yeah, it will be expensive.

We got our hot little hands on the Orange Toshiba TG01 for a full review this week. The handset has a nice big screen and runs the Snapdragon platform. In the end the TG01 is hard to live with by our estimations until some fixes are issued. The coolest surge protector ever tipped up Tuesday from TRC called the ElectraShield. The protector is an in-line device that fits between the AC cord and the boxy power supply of your notebook.

Sadly a Foxconn employee committed suicide this week after losing a prototype 4G Apple iPhone. Reports say the employee jumped from his apartment window after being physically abused and illegally detailed by investigators from Hon Hai — Foxconn’s majority stockholder. On a more positive note, the Plastic Logic eReader will be powered by Barnes & Noble. The bookseller will be the exclusive provider for content on the reader when it launches.

LG announced an odd netbook this week called the Xnote Mini X120 in partnership with Levi’s. The netbook has a lid with an image of the back pocket of a pair of jeans on it and it comes with a denim cover. It’s a very odd product tie in to me. Intel’s Core i5 750, i7 860, and i7 870 CPUs may be coming on September 6 according to information we found. The parts will have a price tag of up to $562.

WiMax hit Las Vegas this week and brought the Samsung Mondi with it. Clearwire still has a long way to go before it has service in enough areas to support the nations 4G jones and the Mondi itself is said to be not that great. Intel debuted speedy 34nm X25-M SSDs this week with capacity up to 160GB and prices for lots of 1,000 of $440.

We gave the T-Mobile myTouch 3G a through video unboxing this week. It’s a tough job being a professional geek, but someone has to do it. The Samsung S9110 watch phone will hit France soon and is called the world’s thinnest watch phone. You can finally live up your Dick Tracey fantasies without looking like you are wearing that massive 80’s calculator watch you had as a kid. That persistently rumored Apple tablet/netbook has a new update to its rumor wagon that has it launching this holiday season with a Verizon data subsidiary.

Microsoft insiders say that a new Xbox 360 with the Project Natal motion sensing tech will be offered in the second half of 2010. Microsoft says the tech will also come in Windows as well. Wednesday had a video hands on of a couple new Blackberry Storm 2 prototypes being unveiled. The prototype devices were said to be early versions and newer versions are supposed to be floating around already. Plastic Logic announced Wednesday that its coming eReader would connect to the AT&T 3G network and offer integrated Wi-Fi.

Renders supposedly of the HTC Leo were first seen this week and the device could be the Touch HD successor. The phone runs Windows Mobile 6.5 and looks like it will be a nifty mobile. Sprint started selling the Palm Pre online this week. I hardly think anyone really wants a Pre has been holding out until they could buy it online. Walmart announced a new laptop from Compaq selling for a bargain price of $298. The coolest part is the machine isn’t a netbook; it’s a full notebook with 3GB of RAM, 160GB of storage, a 15.6-inch screen, a 2.10GHz AMD Sempron and NVIDIA 8200M graphics.

I have had my hands on a few pico projectors since they first started to hit the market and the biggest problem with most of them is low resolution. The CTO of Syndiant said Thursday that pico projectors with 1080p resolution would be available in the next three years. I hope they are brighter as well. The Garmin/Asus nuvifone G60 and M20 will hit Taiwan this month and early next month. The devices are set to come to the U.S. sometime later this year.

Palm and Apple are having a bit of tug-o-war over the ability to synchronize the Pre to iTunes. Last week Apple killed the sync capability of the Pre with an update and Friday Palm fixed the Pre’s sync capability. We can bet that another Apple update is coming soon to kill the new update ability. One of the things that I have long disliked about portable mice is that they offer little in the way of sensitivity. Razer fixed that pet peeve this week when it announced the new Orochi Bluetooth gaming mouse. The mouse has 4000dpi resolution and is ambidextrous all for $79.99.

Well, that’s it for another week in review. I’ll see you next week at the same geek time, same geek channel!

Review: Act By Sage 2009

Faces vaguely ring bells and names elusively reside at the tips of tongues, and if you need to effectively manage contacts in our electronic age, you’re probably a candidate for ACT by Sage 2009, the latest version of the well-known contact manager.

A virtual lifeline for business owners, sale professionals and company representatives, contact managers such as ACT ‑ one of the few that remains from a deep pool of competitors ‑ help you manage contacts and track your interactions with them.

ACT not only manages contact information of the name-address-phone-number-e-mail variety, it also schedules activities and tasks and records contact-related communications including: e-mail, letters, proposals and phone calls, as well as your own observations and notes. It remains a superb program and does a great job of managing the entire sales process from meet-and-greet to closing and beyond.

In version 2009, ACT increases its integration with Microsoft Outlook and enhances its database search capabilities. While these may sound like incremental improvements, the new Outlook integration makes the program a worthy upgrade ‑ something that’s all too rare these days in an era of empty “upgrades.”

ACT comes in a standard version for individuals and small businesses and in a Premium version for larger teams and corporate workgroups. ACT Premium adds team-oriented features such as the Dashboard that serves team views and oversees contacts and activities, as well as activity reports that you can break down by user. Most important, Premium allows you to view the calendars activities for ten or more people. Premium also adds Web access in its Corporate Edition.

From here, the sky is seemingly the limit with various ACT flavors, for example for financial professionals and another for people in real estate. Sage also offers add-ons to integrate ACT with a BlackBerry, Pocket PC or Treo Smartphone; or to link with accounting programs such as Peachtree and QuickBooks. 

Another new feature lets you rely on Outlook rules to manage your inbox e-mail. Using this, for example, you can configure the system so any e-mail from a particular contact automatically becomes a part of a contact’s ACT history.

The program now offers fast access to your most recent contact lookups, which lets you view these lookups by type, date, time stamp and number of contacts.

And finally, you can apply calendar filters to printouts. Yes, you can now print ACT calendars based on priorities and date ranges ‑ and display selected users ‑ just the way that you see them on screen. This feature was long, long overdue.

Previously available only in ACT Premium, you can now automate tasks such as copying calendars and backing up databases in the basic version of ACT. There’s also an improved status bar that lets you view the progress of database synchronization and the time that remains in the process.

While ACT comes with some welcome new enhancements, Sage has maintained everything that was good in prior versions. The product does a first-rate job of tracking and organizing an abundance of information and clearly presenting it on intuitive screens.

You can have lots of letters, linked files, groups, phone calls, histories, notes and alerts associated with your contacts, and ACT manages to present it all in an intelligible manner. It’s a comfort to be able to receive a phone call and quickly bring up a contact’s entire history – that’s the true power of ACT

As before, the program tracks to-do lists and allows you to perform and record merged mailings on paper or via e-mail. Alarms remind you of appointments. The power of ACT, particularly the Premium version, is its capability to share data and its calendars throughout a team or across a division or company.

For those of you already familiar with ACT, the interface remains much the same. There are some minor quirks such as search parameters and report options that seem obvious but aren’t available in certain screens. Long-time customers have simply learned to live with these inconsistencies that probably stem from longtime conventions and the product’s evolution. Even a product this sophisticated and powerful has a few rough spots.

Longtime customers who rely on Microsoft Outlook, and that’s probably most of them, will welcome this upgrade.

Pricing

For individual and small teams, ACT sells for $229.99  (upgrade $169.95).

ACT Premium costs $399.99 MSRP (upgrade $259.95 MSRP) 

ACT Premium – Corporate Edition, which includes ACT Premium and ACT Premium for Web, costs $459.99 MSRP (upgrade $299.95 MSRP).

ACT 2009 and ACT Premium 2009 are available immediately, at no cost, for North American customers who subscribed to the ACT Platinum Care service. ACT products are also available through more than 700 ACT Certified Consultants.

Wayne Kawamoto has written more than 800 articles, columns and reviews about computers, new technologies, the Internet and small businesses. Wayne has also published three books about upgrading PCs, building office networks and troubleshooting notebook computers.

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