Gadget corner

17th June 2005 at 01:00
Merlin John takes a look at the latest must-haves

Fuji FinePix F10

Fuji continues the trend for shirt pocket-size cameras capable of producing high-quality images with its 6.3 megapixel FinePix F10. (from pound;240) It's robust and light with a huge range of options available via relatively simple controls. The pluses for the F10 include an excellent viewfinder screen that takes up more than half the back and high sensitivity (ISO 1600) that is good for picture taking in low light. However, for some the downsides will be the lack of an optical viewfinder, and a proprietory connector for downloads, TV connection, etc (what's wrong with USB?). Now a whinge to manufacturers - what is the point selling a high resolution camera with a 15Mb storage card? Like selling a flash Mercedes with a two-gallon petrol tank.

ScanSnap fi-5110EOX2

It only looks like a mini A4 printer but it scans A4 documents like a fiend - 15 pages a minute (both sides simultaneously if you like). Online has mentioned the ScanSnap fi-5110EOX2 before but as soon as we do Fujitsu ups the ante with a new model. This one comes with updated Adobe Acrobat 7 and ABBYY FineReader OCR software so you can scan straight to PDF or JPG, or directly into Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Just press one button and the sheet feeder puts up to 50 documents through in minutes. Now it recognises colour and scans A3 in a special fold-over, see-through sleeve. For anyone with a pressing need to scan away paperwork, documents, bills or even business cards, whether for filing or website construction, it really is a steal. It's (online) price tag of around pound;310 is roughly the cost of the software bundle never mind the scanner.

Palm One Zire 72

PalmOne's burst of upgrades to its PDA range is bewildering. Online started out looking at the Tungsten 5 (big, sharp screen and capacious hard disc, Pounds 270) and the ZIRE 72s (the digital aide memoire, pound;179.55 from RM, supplied to the Dudley PDA pilot - see Online, May 6). But since then we've been overtaken by the Tungsten E2 (pound;161) to replace the E, and now the LifeDrive (pound;329 with a 4Gb hard drive).

The Zire 72s is an appealing all-rounder allowing you to create photos and video and record and listen to sound, along with Palm's usual document and excellent diary and contact capabilities. We'll try and look at the newcomers for the next Online.

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