This weekly roundup takes a look at the practical and sometimes quirky aspects of tech products.
iPhone finds home on projector
Epson gives projectors a modern spin with the MegaPlex MG-850HD, a projector with a slide-out dock for your iPhone or iPod. When your iPhone/iPod is placed in the dock, the projector can display your favorite iTune videos on a big screen or wall. Better yet, it will recharge your device, so playing a long movie won't drain the battery. The projector also has a dock bracket for an iPad and can handle content from other sources, including smart phones, USB drives, video game consoles and computers.
Unlike some projectors with wimpy speakers, this model sports two built-in 10-watt stereo speakers with plenty of oomph for large gatherings in a rec room, a conference area or a backyard. The projector also can play music with or without an attached microphone, making it a fun option for an impromptu karaoke party.
One caveat: The projector can easily handle video and music stored in iTunes, but projecting online content is trickier. For example, the projector can display online content from Netflix and YouTube with streaming apps that allow video-out options through your iPhone. If a site doesn't provide that option, you're out of luck.
By Chris Titze/Cell Drive
You can save data and keep gizmos charged with a Cell Drive.
Designed with a 720p resolution and 2,800 lumens of color and white light output, the MegaPlex MG-850HD costs about $800. A similar model with 540p resolution and 2,200 lumens, the MegaPlex MG-50 costs $600.
USB device charges ahead
You can save data and keep your favorite gizmos charged with a Cell Drive. Made to work with cellphones, MP3 players, E-readers and other devices, the versatile Cell Drive works as a backup battery, a charging cable, a transfer cable and a flash drive. Phone out of juice? Its rechargeable lithium-polymer battery will let you keep talking for up to an hour.
When you finish talking, you can charge your phone and the drive's battery by plugging it into a computer via its USB charging cable. The drive also can transfer and sync pictures, music and other data between mobile devices and your computer. A four-gigabyte model costs $60; an eight-gigabyte version is $70. Both come with a charge- and sync- mini-USB connector and two charging adapters (a 3.5-millimeter iPhone/iPod and a 3.5-millimeter Micro-USB).
BlackBerry fans get music
Research in Motion
The BlackBerry Music Gateway.
Who says the BlackBerry has to be all work and no play? You can wirelessly stream music on your BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to your home or car stereo with the BlackBerry Music Gateway.
Designed to work with Bluetooth or Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, the portable gizmo lets you adjust the volume, change tracks or pause a song through your BlackBerry. Prefer to listen to music stored on a computer or another device? The Gateway can be synced to stream music from Bluetooth devices, including competitor's phones and tablets. The device, which can handle streaming music up to 30 feet away, costs about $50.
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