a spring tech refresher

So what really caused this year’s exceptionally early Spring? Was it global warming? El Nino? Or simply Mother Nature’s attempt to give the Gadget Zone an excuse to look at spring consumer tech early? We know what we believe!

Here are some cool-and-useful items to enjoy as the weather warms up.

For super-fast, super lightweight computing in the comfort of your lawn chair, try out a new Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook laptop. This unit is just 6 mm thick and weighs less than 1.5 kilograms. Yet the XPS 13 vcan be purchased with either a smoking-fast Intel Core i5-2467M (1.60 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.30 Ghz) or zan even faster Intel Core™ i7-2637M processor (1.70 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.80 GHz, 4G, TPM). This laptop also comes with 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz memory; a solid state hard drive (up to 256GB);a 13.3″ HD (720p) Truelife WLED Display;1.3MP HD webcam; stereo speakers; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; and a Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit operating system. In short, the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook is fast, powerful and sexy. Learn more at www.dell.com.

Speaking of laptops, consider loading Iolo Technologies’ System Mechanic on your new XPS 13, or indeed any computer you may be using. System Mechanic is designed to keep your system from gradually slowing down; by fixing registry errors, defragmenting your hard drive, and removing unused files that are using up your computer’s processing resources. You can even set System Mechanic to tune up your system when it’s not in use. I have tried a number of such programs over the years. To date, I have found that System Mechanic does keep my PC running as fast as when I installed Windows. Download it at www.iolo.com.

If you want to take your favourite tunes outside with you, but want more volume than your iPad, Android or Blackberry Playbook can provide, consider getting a Divoom iFit-2. This is a small stand with built-in stereo speakers and a connector that plugs into any tablet/cellphone headset mini-jack. (In fact, you can plug it into any device that has a headset mini-jack.)The iFit-2 can run up to 8 hours on its USB-charged internal battery. The sound quality is quite pleasant, while the stand makes it easy to watch videos, read, or surf the Web while you relax outside. Details at www.divoomusa.com.

Finally, not everyone is overjoyed to see spring arrive. Take allergy sufferers: Spring means pollen and dust and all kinds of provocations to make their sinuses clog up and their eyes water. One way to fight back is by installing a Honeywell HPA-150 True HEPA Tower Allergen Remover. Built into a sleek and quite sexy black tower case, the HPA-150 captures up to 99.97% of microscopic allergens. We’re talking pollen, dust, smoke, and pet dander as small as 0.3 microns. The HPA-150 also has a carbon pre-filter to help reduce unpleasant household odors and reduce certain common household gases. You can find it at www.honeywellstore.com.