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Mon 22 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

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Inspecting gadgets

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from miniscule portable laptop computers to the latest in advanced mobile gadgetry.

ACN rounds up the latest and greatest executive gadgets, from miniscule portable laptop computers to the latest in advanced mobile gadgetry.

AMILO Mini UI 3520

Yes, that's right, another soldier has joined the ranks of the growing army of mini computers. But don't make the mistake of writing the AMILO Mini Ui 3520 off as yet another face in the crowd, because this little guy really does have something to offer.

Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC) appears to have done well in this instance to balance portability with power. For a device with only an 8.9 inch display, it packs quite a punch. The hard drive capacity can stretch to a respectable 80GB, complemented nicely by 1GB of memory.

OK - so it's not exactly the latest and greatest, but if you consider the fact it's all packed into a one kilogram device with dimensions of 32.2 by 17.5 centimetres, it's not disappointing by any standard.

This pocket-rocket comes already set up for video conferencing with a 1.3 megapixel webcam and an integrated microphone ready to go, which is a logical inclusion in a portable device, and should help make those pesky international trips slightly less of a burden for CIOs and IT managers.

FSC claims the little laptop has over four hours of battery life, meaning there is slightly less chance of the device dropping dead just a few seconds before you hit the send key on that urgent email.

OK, so this isn't exactly the most powerful laptop in the world - or even the smallest - but it does strike a reasonable balance between the two. Portability and power seem to have resolved their differences and worked together to assist in the creation of this new addition to the laptop family.

Motozine ZN5

Here we have yet another gadget attempting to blur the lines between mobile phones and cameras. This new breed of phones/web browsers/MP3 players/radios - or whatever you want to call them - is rapidly growing. But with so many flooding the market, it can be hard to find the best value for money, and the most appropriate device for your business use.

Motorola's Motozine ZN5 is equipped with Kodak imaging technology. An array of editing effects and capture modes also help tomake this an ideal phone for the amateur happy-snapper.

If you're in the market for an affordable phone with a top-quality camera and all the other trimmings expected in the current generation of mobiles, the ZN5 is worth checking out. Xperia X1 - Sony Ericsson

Possibly one of the most versatile mobile devices on the market, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 could make a fantastic travelling companion for the busy executive. It is difficult to categorise this product. Sure it's a phone, but it also has a sliding QWERTY keyboard, so is it a computer as well? It's hard to tell.

Just to make things even more confusing, the device can play media content at a reasonably high resolution, it is equipped for 3D mobile gaming, has a good quality 3.2 megapixel camera, and comes with a GPS and the Google Maps application.

Most would have no qualms in saying this device was a great all-rounder and a helpful executive companion, although you do pay for what you get. The device finds itself at the top end of the mobile gadget price range, but with all the goodies that come along with this challenger to the touch screen title, you wouldn't really expect to be able to pick one up cheaply.

The X1 is Sony Ericsson's answer to the growing range of up-market mobiles targeting travelling executives, and it looks to rank among the best.

One edge it has over many of its competitors is the battery life, which Sony Ericsson claim will last for up to 10 hours of talk time. This is impressive by any standard, and even more impressive if you consider the lackluster battery lifespan of many other high end mobile devices in the same category.

Sony Ericsson's latest and greatest is in the unique position of having few flaws and many strengths. Its range of applications and entertainment capabilities also make it a great travelling companion. If you are looking for a solid all-round device, then you need look no further.

MacBook Pro

For all you die-hard Mac lovers who refuse to conform, Apple has revamped their MacBook range and unsurprisingly, they look suspiciously like the company's previous range of portable computers. OK, we get it, the white matches the rest of Apple's similarly eclectically cool products, but come on guys, a little bit of creativity wouldn't go astray.

Looking past the aesthetics, the MacBook Pro does have some fairly decent capabilities and as usual, it is especially useful for IT staff needing to run graphics intensive programs.

The specifications of the MacBook Pro are nothing to be sneezed at. With a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics card under its hood, the Pro has some fairly impressive grunt. These are of course the basic capabilities of the notebook, and there are plenty of options to upgrade, if the basic model isn't enough to float your boat.

The MacBook Pro is still a little lacking in hard drive capacity compared to its PC counterparts, but isn't too far off. It ranges upwards from 250 GB, which seems strangely low considering the chunky kind of files the Mac is designed to cope with.

For IT managers who are looking for a notebook to handle certain specific programs that are better suited for the Mac range, or something to match their shiny white office and electronic accessories, the Pro is a great option.

However, for those looking for a high-end laptop to run demanding programs in general, the latest range of Macbooks does nothing to encourage PC users to the other side of the fence.

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