The week in gadgets, featuring the new Chromebook and lovely laptops for ladies (contains sarcasm)

22 Oct 2012

A look at gadget happenings, as Google’s next-generation Chromebook gets a wallet-friendly price-tag, Fujitsu bring us some fairly ridiculous ‘feminine’ laptops, Logitech lights up our keyboards, Route 66 offers augmented reality navigation, and calls from the Bond Phone go high-definition.

The new Chromebook

Google has released its latest iteration of the Samsung Chromebook at a low cost of US$249, calling it ‘the computer for everyone’.

The cloud-based laptop operates on Chrome OS and comes with 100GB of free storage on Google Drive. Like previous Chromebooks, it boots quickly (less than 10 seconds, apparently) and this model offers over six hours of battery life.

The new Chromebook comes with an 11.6-inch display, weighing 2.5 pounds and measuring 0.8 inches thick. Pre-orders began last week and the devices are expected to be available from today in the US and UK.

The Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook unveiled earlier this year was made available to businesses in Ireland through Google’s Irish partner Baker Security & Networks in September, costing about twice as much as the new Chromebook.

Ladylike laptops from Fujitsu

The problem with the Chromebook is that its steely exterior might be intimidating to women. Us ladies need more feminine laptops for our dainty hands, don’t you think?

Of course we don’t, but that hasn’t stopped Fujitsu from launching its new Floral Kiss range of laptops for women. The series comes from a team of female engineers who wanted to bring some elegance to computing – because, gosh darn it, all us gals want is a laptop that matches our favourite purse.

Fujitsu Floral Kiss

The Floral Kiss range just reeks of feminity, from its decorative ditsy prints to its bedazzled accessories. Even its applications are just for women: Scrapbook for organising our pictures and recipes, Diary to keep track of our Facebook and Twitter posts and – just what women want – horoscopes from Fortune@nifty.

Fujitsu Floral Kiss

This laptop range is available in Elegant White, Feminine Pink and Luxury Brown, or there’s a special-edition purple model with cursive font on the keyboard. The top casing has a flip latch that is apparently easily opened by those of us with long fingernails – no more breaking a nail when getting to work, ladies!

Fujitsu Floral Kiss

While these Windows 8 ultrabooks come with third-generation Intel Core i5 processors and 500GB hard disks, it’s hard not to get distracted by the overwhelmingly condescending idea of feminity. Clearly, Fujitsu didn’t catch Bic’s marketing failure with Bic for Her – because a regular biro is just too much for women’s delicate hands.

The Fujitsu Floral Kiss range hits Japan in November.

Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810

Logitech’s latest keyboard is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows, with specific keys included for Windows 8. Using Bluetooth connectivity, users can pair with up to three devices at once – be it a PC, tablet or smartphone – and easily switch between them.

Logitech K810 keyboard

The K810 uses proximity detection and will light up as your hands approach it. It then automatically adjusts brightness depending on the environment.

This keyboard will be available from November at a recommended retail price of €99.99.

Route 66 Panoramic Car Kit

The Route 66 Panoramic Car Kit can mount a user’s smartphone to their windscreen or dashboard while maintaining a clear view for the phone’s rear camera. This enables drivers to take advantage of Route 66’s Follow Me augmented reality navigation feature, which shows the road ahead on-screen but with a virtual car driving in front as your guide.

Route 66 Panoramic Car Kit

Instead of universal compatibility, the adjustable mount is tailor-made for a range of smartphones, including the iPhone 3GS and 4S, HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note. The kit costs €19.99 from Route 66, offering free shipping worldwide.

Bond phone gets HD Voice

Sony has announced that the Xperia T – or the Bond Phone for O2 customers – is HD Voice-certified. This GSMA accreditation means the phone delivers advanced and clear in-call audio, even when calling from noisy environments.

To understand what a difference this can make, check out this HD Voice sound demonstration from the GSM Association.

Titan the robot takes the Dublin Web Summit by storm

Unless you’ve been spending the last week under a rock, you may have been aware that the Dublin Web Summit took over the RDS for two days, bringing the tech elite to Ireland’s capital. And while we were wowed by Autom, the life coach robot, we couldn’t omit a shout-out to Titan the Robot.

Titan the Robot at the Dublin Web Summit

Titan the Robot with Gavin O’Flaherty of Mason Hayes & Curran, sponsor of this year’s Web Summit

This all-round entertainer greeted us with a 100-decibel song and dance routine as we arrived at the RDS, and continued to make friends throughout the summit.

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic