2009 Technology Guide

The must-have tech toys of the year

Credit: DKS Editors


HP TouchSmart products

For 2009, HP launched a series of touch-screen computers called TouchSmart. The series has various home and business PCs as well as a 12.1-inch notebook PC.

According to HP’s Web site, the notebook’s screen rotates 180 degrees and can be folded into a tablet that can be written and drawn on by using a stylus, which is a pen-like device used for entering data. The notebook runs at about $1,099, but Amazon.com offers it at $1,079.

The PC has a 25.5-inch screen and can be mounted to a wall. It is also DVD and Blu-ray compatible. It is priced at around $2,500.

HP Mini 2140, HP Mini 1000

HP also has the mini notebooks, or “netbooks,” the latest trend in notebook computers. The 2140 is 10.3 inches and has a full-sized keyboard. The 1000 is also 10.3 inches and weighs about 2.3 pounds. The HP minis start at around $646.

Dell Inspirion Mini 9

Named by Cnet reviews as the best of the netbooks, the Dell Inspirion Mini is 8.9 inches and also starts at 2.3 pounds. The Dell Mini’s battery runs for about four hours, whereas the HP 2140 could top out at about nine hours. The Mini costs about $300.

Sony VAIO Lifestyle PC

According to Sony’s Web site, the VAIO is the lightest mini-notebook in the world. The 8-inch notebook weighs just 1.4 pounds and has a 4-hour battery. The VAIO also has built in GPS technology and claims to be able to fit easily in a jacket pocket.

ASUS Eee PC 1000HA

Amazon.com named this 10-inch laptop the best netbook of 2009. It has seven hours of battery life and is priced around $430.

-Meghan Bogardus


Blackberry Storm

Carrier: Verizon Wireless

Available: Now

Touch Screen: Yes

Camera: 3.2 MP

Memory: 128MB Flash Memory, 192MB RAM, 1GB On-board memory

microSD memory card support: 8GB SanDiskr card installed (device supports up to 16GB)

Special Features: On-Screen/virtual keyboard – portrait SureType and Multi-tap; QWERTY landscape.

iPhone 3G

Carrier: AT&T

Available: Now

Touch Screen: Yes

Camera: 2.0 MP

Memory: Available 8GB or 16GB Models

microSD memory card support: No

Special Features: SIM Card Tray, 30-pin dock connector, microphone

BlackBerry Curve 8900

Carrier: T-Mobile

Available: Feb. 2009

Touch Screen: No

Camera: 3.2 MP

Memory: Available in 8GB .

microSD memory card support: 256MB SanDiskr card installed (device supports up to 16GB)

Special Features: Full QWERTY keyboard, automatic image stabilization for camera and video

Samsung Delve

Carrier: Alltel

Available: Now

Touch Screen: Yes

Camera: 2.0 MP

Memory: Available 8GB or 16GB Models

microSD memory card support: 8GB SanDiskr card-capable (devise supports up to 16 GB)

Special Features: XM Radio-capable

All four phones are GPS and Bluetooth capable and include both media players and HTML browsers designed for the coverage providers and phone manufacturers.

Information from:





-Robert Checkal


What is an e-reader?

What MP3 players did to stacks of compact discs, e-readers do to bookshelves. For audiophiles who cried death of the packaged album upon the advent of downloadable music files, so too may bibliophiles who see the printed book industry falling to its knees in the face of portable e-readers. The screens on these lightweight e-readers use actual ink particles arranged electronically on a crisp white screen with no backlight, making it resemble the readability of ordinary paper, with no glare or strain on the eyes. College students may find one day that the bulk of carrying multiple textbooks, which has been known to break both banks and backs, could be converted into a more manageable hand-held portable device that weighs less than a pound.

Amazon Kindle

Late last year, Amazon.com released the standard in wireless reading devices: Kindle. Unlike Wi-Fi connectivity, hotspots are not necessary for access. Instead, according to Amazon.com, the “Whispernet” wireless connectivity feature offers users the ability to download more than 200,000 books (with most full-length titles costing $9.99), top U.S. and international newspapers and magazines without the hassle of service plans, contracts or monthly bills. The site states there is no need to sync Kindle with any other devices. Documents and computer files can even be e-mailed directly to a Kindle device. Kindle will run you $359, but right now that will only get you a spot in line on a month-long waiting list.

Sony PRS-700BC Reader Digital Book

Sony’s answer to the e-reader phenomenon is the Sony Reader Digital Book. According to sonystyle.com, the Reader features many of the same benefits as Kindle but does not currently feature any wireless capabilities. Computer connectivity is required and book titles must be purchased from the Sony eBook Store or other participating Web sites. The Sony Reader also features an MP3 player and a touchscreen, unlike the Kindle. The Reader is available from Sony for $399.99.

-Nick Baker