The week in gadgets

28 May 2012

Gizmon's clip-on lenses for the iPhone and iPad

A look at gadget happenings, as photographers get new lenses for iPhones and for cameras, specifications for Dell’s Windows 8 tablets are leaked, Sony tablet users get an Ice Cream Sandwich boost and Toshiba unveils a suite of laptops for home entertainment.

Clip-on lenses for iPhotographers

iPhone camera accessories range from the ridiculously over-the-top to the oh-so-hipster to the small and practical, but none seems more worth a try than these clip-on lenses from Gizmon, which instantly give your iPhone prime photographer status … well, not really but they look pretty cool! The fisheye lens gives you a cool warped look, the circular polariser (CPL) will reduce glare and improve contrast, while the three-image mirage filter divides your subject in three to give a trippy, kaleidoscopic effect. The lenses easily attach to both iPhones and iPads and can be used for video calls, as well as photo-taking.

Gizmon clip-on lenses

Unfortunately, Gizmon’s European distributors don’t seem to have picked these up yet, but you can order from Four Corner Store and have them shipped from the US at US$35 a pop (excluding shipping).

Gizmon clip-on lenses - iPhone

New X lens for Panasonic Lumix

For those who still use a camera, Panasonic has released a new interchangeable lens for the Lumix G Micro System. The X lens features improved image rendering for lifelike textures and crisp contrast and a NanoSurface Coating to minimise flare and better capture natural atmospheres. The 12-35mm lens reaches f2.8 brightness at entire zoom range while its built-in optical image stabiliser claims to make it even easier to take clear shots in low light.


Rumour mill churns out specifications for Dell’s Windows 8 tablets

In the world of tablet computers, Neowin claims to have discovered the specifications for a Windows 8 tablet in the works from Dell. If what’s on the spec sheet proves true, the tablet will feature a 10.8-inch display, Intel Clover Trail Atom dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel graphics, optional fingerprint or smart card reader, and a removable battery coming in two sizes, one offering six to eight hours of power, and the other offering up to 12 hours.

Dell Windows 8 tablet specs

The second Windows 8 device up Dell’s sleeve, also discovered by Neowin, is a convertible 12.5-inch tablet featuring edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass display and also powered by Intel. Both devices are expected to come to light later this year.

Dell Windows 8 convertible tablet specs

Sony tablet users to get free upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich

Staying with tablets, Android 4.0.4, aka, Ice Cream Sandwich, will be available for Sony tablet users in Europe to download as a free update by the end of May, bringing with it many new features and OS enhancements for the Sony Tablet S and Tablet P. Drag-and-drop gestures make it easier to manage files and folders and recently used apps can be closed with just a swipe, saving on power. A more responsive browser lets you toggle instantly between desktop versions of mobile-optimised sites and pages can also be saved for offline reading.

The update also includes a number of new Sony apps and added functionality, such as direct access to content on removable SD card for Tablet S users and the Small Apps update, which keeps frequently used functions like browser, calculator and remote control (Tablet S only) always at hand, even when using other functions. To complement the new OS’ enriched editing features, Sony has also added a wider choice of slideshow templates for photo viewing.

Sony tablet users will be automatically notified when the upgrade is available.

Toshiba unveils latest Satellite P Series for optimum home entertainment

Toshiba’s latest Satellite P series offers fast performance powered by Intel processors, next-generation INVIDIA graphics, and a whopping hard disk of up to 1TB. The range, starting at 15.6-inch models, is focused on providing a home entertainment system on a laptop, with Blu-ray support and a HD screen with optional HD 3D display – without the need for glasses. LED backlighting ensures colours on screen are accurate and provide sharp contrast, while first-rate audio is provided by speakers from Harman Kardon and Slip Stream technology, which keeps distortion to a minimum. And if laptop viewing isn’t taking your fancy, Intel Wireless Display lets users stream media from the laptop to a connected television set.

Toshiba Satellite P850

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.