CES kicks off

The biggest technology and gadget show, CES, just kicked off in Las Vegas, and as usual much of the talk surrounds Apple:

Apple is the only company that consistently gets big buzz out of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — without even attending.

This year will be no different.

Connected TVs — TVs that connect to and can access content from the Internet — will be a big part of CES this year. And just about everyone in tech expects Apple at some point to launch such a television — an iTV — that easily consumes and shares with other Apple devices content served from the company’s media-storing iCloud.

Microsoft made news earlier by saying this was the last year they would attend CES/ Why attend if Apple gets all the buzz anyways? Maybe Microsoft should focus on new products instead of protecting its Windows/Office cash cow? Or maybe not . . .

  

Gadgets for the holidays

The holiday season is here, and today is Cyber Monday so it’s time to go searching for deals. There are a ton of gadget gift guides out there, and Bullz-Eye.com has a gadget section in their 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. The WOWee One Slim Portable Speaker is one of the featured products.

You’ll be amazed when you plug this tiny gadget into your MP3 player or phone and turn on some music. Of all the gadgets we’ve tested recently, the WOWee ONE Slim Portable Speaker is one of our favorites. It’s about the size of a deck of cards and easily plugs into any device with an audio jack. All of a sudden you can have a party. The WOWee turns flat, solid surfaces like tables, counters, bumpers, hoods and truck beds into bass-filled sound systems using patented gel technology. The sound changes depending on the type of surface and you can really feel the base on some surfaces. It’s perfect for events like tailgates as it provides about 10 hours of tunes and can turn your grill/cooler/hood into a high-end sound system for the whole parking lot. It’s also great for impromptu parties as it can fit in your pocket, computer bag or glove compartment. Take it on a trip and have parties in your hotel room or by the pool. The possibilities are endless and kids will love it as well. It seems like everyone listens to music alone these days with their headphones, so the WOWee makes it easier for everyone to share and enjoy music.

There are a ton of gadget gift guides out there, so do your research and you’ll find some great stuff. You can start with the ones from USA Today and CNET.

  

Headphone cords that don’t get tangled

I hate it when my headphones get all tangled up. Here’s a review of new headphones that have fettuccine type no-tangle cords.

  

Saving Money on Inkjet Cartridges

Whether you have a business or just do your printing at home, inkjet cartridges can be very expensive. This is where the printer manufacturers make their money, and you can burn through a lot of money if you do a lot of printing.

The tips for saving money all involve common sense. The first has to do with your printing habits and your printing policies in the office. When possible, print in black at lower quality as opposed to using color at maximum quality. This alone will save you a ton in inkjet fees.

Next, you have to shop around. If you just spend some time online, you can find the lowest price for your cartridges, even the brand name cartridges. One problem is that people wait till they run out if ink to get new cartridges. Then you’re in a hurry and it’s easier to just go to the local store and pick one up. If you plan ahead, you’ll save a ton of money and get in the habit of always keeping a supply.

If you need one right away, look for stores like Cartridge World. They have deep discounts and you can punch in your zip code on their web site to find a store near you.

Another option includes refilling your ink or purchasing off-brand cartridges. This is a matter o preference based upon quality issues. It’s not a bad option, but you can save on the brand cartridges if you follow the steps above.

  

Speakal iPig: Impressive sound quality in a cute package

Shopping for a gift for Valentine’s Day can be a challenge if you’ve been with the same person for a long time. Holidays, birthdays and anniversaries add up, and it can sometimes feel like you’ve given that special someone everything they could possibly want. That’s obviously not the case, but if you’re completely out of ideas, you might want to consider Speakal’s iPig docking station for the iPod, which delivers surprisingly great sound in the shape of a bulbous little pig.

Available in pink, yellow, white and black, the iPig might look like something you’d pick up at the toy store, but it’s actually a pretty impressive piece of machinery – something you’ll quickly realize upon feeling the weight and durability of the system. The docking station can be used with any Apple iPod (there are six cradle pieces to choose from, but it even works without one attached) and though your iPhone will try telling you it’s not compatible, it actually is.

The system itself boasts five speakers with a total output of 25-plus Watts, including a 4-inch subwoofer on the bottom of the unit, two speakers on the front that double as the pig’s eyes, and two more underneath its ears. The ears also happen to include the docking station’s coolest feature: touch activated volume control that works better than I could have possibly imagined. Additionally, there’s a handy remote for all of the other controls like play/pause, fast forward/rewind, and bass and treble level adjustment, and you can connect the speaker to a TV or gaming console using the 3.5mm AUX input jack in the back.

Oh yeah, and not only does this speaker get loud (so loud, in fact, that I didn’t dare test to see how high the volume would go at the risk of blowing out my eardrums), but it doesn’t appear to lose any quality as a result. Granted, the cutesy pig design pretty much guarantees that no guy would want to purchase such a speaker system for himself, but between its impressive sound and portable, compact size, the Speakal iPig would make the perfect gift for that gadget-crazy lady in your life.