No cords attached
Forget annoying power leads. These Bluetooth gadgets will let you ditch them entirely, writes Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson
PARROT ZIMKU BY PHILIPPE STARCK Parrot, $ 1999 parrot. com
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GIANT traffic cones, cat scratching posts and, when inside their case, trombones. These were guesses about the nature of these Bluetooth speakers, created by celebrated designer Philippe Starck for Parrot. In reality, the Zimku speakers make for a capable stereo with the addition of a tablet, phone or MP3 player to feed them tunes. Users must plug both speakers into a power point, after which the pair recognise each other. Users can then add an iPod or iPhone into the dock above one speaker or connect a gadget via Bluetooth. The speakers come with a discreet remote-control to alter the volume.
NOKIA BLUETOOTH STEREO HEADSET BH-505 Nokia, $ 98 officeworks. com. au
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USING a mobile phone as a music player is becoming more common, thanks to a certain fruit-themed computer company. But adding a phone to your gym gear can come with downsides. This Nokia creation solves the issue by replacing cords with a Bluetooth connection. The standalone headset hides its Bluetooth battery and ‘‘ on’’ button in the back of its sturdy, wraparound body and push-button controls sit on its front for easy access. They include an ‘‘ answer’’ button and tiny volume slider on the right and a ‘‘ play/ pause’’ button and small track control on the left. This headset will connect to all makes of phones.
PLANTRONICS SAVOR M1100 Plantronics, $ 129 plantronics. com. au
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YOU can talk to this headset. It might look strange to bystanders, but you can instruct this Bluetooth earpiece to do your bidding, thanks to voice commands. These range from basic requests (‘‘ Check battery life’’) to advanced tasks such as reading your text messages to you, recording reminders, composing emails and even sending tweets. The advanced commands are enabled by a Plantronics service called Vocalyst. Savor owners are granted a free one-year trial. In practice, some services are handy and others painful. Listening to a computerised voice read the news is difficult.
JAWBONE Era Shadowbox Jawbone, $ 149 jawbone. com
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BLUETOOTH specialist Jawbone has a unique selling point: its noisecancelling technology was originally developed for tank commanders, helicopter pilots and other military pursuits. The technology in this headset uses two microphones to identify background noise and eliminate it. It masks most noisy backgrounds such as the hum of a shopping centre or loud colleagues. The Era also has an accelerometer, allowing users to shake it to put it in pairing mode and tap it twice to answer phone calls. Some crackling interrupted calls in our tests, but the headset was easy and comfortable to use.
POLAROID GL10 Instant Mobile Printer Polaroid, $ 199.95 polaroid. com. au
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DO you rarely print photographic masterpieces taken with your phone? You’re not alone. Now Polaroid has produced an undersize Bluetooth printer to solve this issue. The GL10 Instant Mobile Printer is bigger than its pocket-size first version, now 14.7cm long and 11.4cm wide. One benefit to this larger size is the prints it produces are now 10cm by 7.6cm. To use, slip a 10-sheet pack of Zink paper ( one lot is included, 30 sheets cost $ 29.95) into its rear slot. The results are not perfect. Colours can be washed-out and less vibrant but the quality is a big improvement on the previous model and more than acceptable.