Gadgets: Pandigital printer; Zagg's Invisible Shields; Kodak Easyshare camera
Pandigital, the company known for making the best digital photo frames, has added a Portable Photo Printer with Zink technology that may be the most portable printer ever.
In addition, the printer uses no ink, which means you can avoid those endless trips to an office supply store for ink cartridges.
The ink-free printer makes 4 x 6-inch prints without needing a computer. Simply use the built-in memory card slot to load images, which can be viewed on the printer's 1.4-inch LCD screen.
While the images produced were decent in quality, they won't make the quality you can produce with an Ink Jet. What you do get is incredible portability, being able to print ink- and computer-free anywhere.
Weighing less than 2 pounds and measuring just 1.5 x 6.2 x 6.75 -inches, it's easy to see why the company is emphasizing the portability -- and I totally agree.
For those who are scratching their heads about how it prints, it's all in the paper.
Using the Zink technology, the manufacturer embeds dye crystals in the paper to produce the image.
The setup and use of the printer couldn't be easier. Just plug it in, turn it on, load the paper, insert your memory and select the image to be printed.
With this system, what you see is what you get. There are no editing tools in the printer, but then again I really don't think many people use them anyway.
If your image needs editing, do that on a computer and then load it onto the memory card for printing.
Each print took a minute or so and required no drying time.
As mentioned, a computer is not necessary, but it is an option. Simply load in the software, which is included with the printer on any Mac (OS X 10.5 and up) or PC (Windows XP or 7).
Details: pandigital.net, printer $129.99, 40 pack of 4 x 6 paper $17.99
If it's good enough to protect military helicopter blades then it's good enough for any portable media players or cell photos.
This is type of protection you get with Zagg's Invisible Shields, which is made with military grade, nano-memory technology.
Users can apply it to protect iPhone, BlackBerry, cell phone or the new iPad LCD displays to keep them clean and scratch free.
Once applied, users still get 100 percent functionality along with the full clarity users have come to expect from the high priced devices.
I have messed up many self-sticking screen protectors; simply by applying them crooked and having to remove them for realignment.
The Invisible shield is applied in a total different manner; many might think it's dangerous since liquid is combined with the device for installation.
First off, make sure your device is clean. Otherwise, whatever dirt or dust is on it will be sealed in.
After it's clean, apply the included liquid application solution (basically its soapy water) to both sides of the shield and then use the included squeegee to get out the air bubbles.
Each shield is custom fit for a specific device, providing a perfect fit with respect to any curve, button or port. This includes the entire gadget, front, back, top and bottom.
Details: zagg.com, prices vary by device, but if you're getting the new iPhone 4 order full protection for $24.99.
The Kodak Easyshare M580 Digital Camera is a great camera and features a button to share your digital memory instantly with the world.
Located on the back of the camera, Kodak's Share button lets users tag photos in the camera, which will then be ready for instant delivery via Facebook, YouTube or just for display on gallery sites.
After they are tagged, simply connect the camera to a computer with an Internet connection and the images upload instantly.
While this upload feature makes the camera stand out, it is packed with other great features.
The 14-megapixel camera has an 8X optical zoom, Schneider-Kreuzhach lens for optimum clarity with a 35mm equivalent of 28-224 mm.
Since the camera has no viewfinder, the 3-inch LCD comes in very handy.
Kodak's Smart Capture feature helps users adjust the camera when it detects a specific shooting situation.
This can be low light, fast moving object or just portraits. It analyzes the situation and sets what it thinks is the proper exposure, focus and light settings.
Face Recognition enables the camera to stay focused on faces within the frame, regardless of the location.
The camera also has 64 MB internal memory but this is expanded to anything you want with SD/SDHC cards.
Details: Kodak.com, the suggested price is $199, but it can be found easily online for $149.99.
(c) 2010, Gregg Ellman.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.