Here, we present a compilation of
PopSci coverage of the season´s hottest tech- 60 pages of lust-worthy items, from a luxury amplifier that will please the most discerning audiophile to cutting-edge smartphones to household gizmos that will make everyday tasks easier. Get ready to drool.
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From the Pointless-But-Cool Files . . .
Slip this temperature-monitoring panel into your PC’s extra drive bay, and you can boot up from up to 15 feet away using the remote. Logisys Remote Multifunction Panel, $35;
The Snowboard Simulator
Improve your balance with this motorized board-sport trainer. Set the difficulty level, then try to stay on while it rocks.
iJoy Board, $450; ijoy.com
Front-Row Seat to Nascar
Tuning into Nascar drivers’ radio communications is old news. This handheld device lets you watch live feeds from any of the seven cameras planted in every racecar, or from cameras around the track. NASCAR Nextel FanView Rent it for , $50 per race;
Steer this motorized caddy with a remote, or program it to head due east, and relax and have a cigar while it totes your clubs to the next hole. Bag Boy Navigator, $2,000;
A Music Phone With Brains
Finally, an MP3-playing phone with a serious side. It’s a Symbian smartphone with three-gigabyte data transfer for high-speed Web surfing on the go. It packs four gigs of memory for music and has 10 hours of battery life. Sony Ericsson W950i Price not set;
It keeps tabs on your ticker and tracks the details of your weight-training workout: pounds lifted, repetitions and number of sets for 17 different exercises. Polar F55 $220;
Ditch the Tray
A syringe-like mechanism sucks up to 18 ounces of paint-enough to cover an eight-by-eight-foot swath of wall-into the hollow handle of the roller brush. Black & Decker PaintStick, $25;
Designed for precision work, this Dremel’s front-weighted handle makes the tip easier to guide when polishing, sanding, or engraving with any of its interchangeable tips. Dremel Stylus, $70;
A Speakerphone That Actually Looks Good
Use this USB-powered speakerphone with your cell or VoIP phone. It’s the first that lets both ends of the conversation talk at the same time and still hear each other. ClearOne Chat 50 USB, $150;
Big Picture, Tiny Shooter
Thanks to an energy-efficient sensor that doesn’t need a huge battery, this one-pound-three-ounce, palm-size camcorder is the world’s smallest and lightest hi-def model. Sony HDR-HC3 $1,700;
Smarter Bluetooth Shades
These shades trump others with built-in Bluetooth connectivity for, say, taking calls wirelessly: The photochromatic lenses adjust their tint to lighting conditions. Zeal Optics Confidant, $250;
This aluminum nozzle is the first hose attachment that switches from high-pressure spray to a free-flowing stream with no disassembly required. Choice Products Dual Flo Nozzle, $20;
Maid of the Mist
Push a button, and this showerhead-mounted gizmo sprays cleaning solution in a 360-degree arc around the tub. Automatic Shower Cleaner, $25;
Give Your Back a Break
This laptop lugger looks weird, but it´s worth the embarrassment. The shoulder pads direct the weight of the load across your entire back instead of on one shoulder. And it´s easy to sling on. Ogio Shling Laptop Bag, $200;
Sweet-Sounding Music Server
Because the 400-gig drive inside floats on a special bearing, it´s silent, so it won´t muck up the sound of your music. Holds 1,100 CDs, ripped in high-quality lossless-compression format. Olive Opus, $3,000;
The 10.4-inch LCD on this fridge´s door sports a TVtuner and stereo speakers. It´s removable, so you can pop it out and take your shows to the dining room. Samsung PopCon, $3,500;
The first fully digital shower system. Punch in your desired temperature and water pressure, and the system regulates the water to make sure it sprays how you like it. Kohler DTV, $2,000;
Surf the Web while watching the big game. This 20-inch LCD is the first monitor that can display TVshows and your PC´sscreen at the same time. 1,650 x 1,080 pixels. Sony MFM-HT205, $900;
Unlike other in-wall models, these speakers´ woofers sit in a ported cabinet-similar to floor-standing speakers-enabling them to produce booming bass. Axiom W22, $650 per pair;
Other earbuds use armature drivers-small, vibrating rods that produce sound. These use fully miniaturized loudspeakers, giving them uncharacteristically deep bass as well as clear high notes. XtremeMac FS1, $150;
Stable on Any Ground
This extension ladder features the first factory-installed leg-leveling device, which compensates for up to eight inches of elevation change between the two sides. Werner Equalizer $250;
The first digital SLR camera with a live-preview LCD uses a dedicated image sensor for the 2.5-inch screen so you can compose your shot without using the viewfinder. Olympus EVOLT E-330 $1,100;
Tell It Where You Want to Be
Punching a location into your navigation system while you´re driving is downright dangerous. This is the first portable GPS that lets you assign voice tags to saved locations. Want to go home? Just say the word. Lithium-ion battery lasts about three hours. Novogo V Series $700;
The Silicon Chef
Can´t cook? No problem. This induction-powered hotplate set scans recipe cards with radio-frequency transmitters, automatically adjusts the heat, and guides you toward dinner, step-by-step, with audible cues. Comes with three cards, up to 100 available. Vita Craft RFIQ $600;
An ideal media-center PC looks great in your living room. This one´s ceramic case does that and keeps it cool. Intel Viiv platform; one gig of RAM; DVD+/â€ RW drive. Kapsel Media Center PC Around $2,500;
Chill to Perfection
Bordeaux tastes best at 65F. To make sure your wine is properly chilled, drop a bottle into this thermoelectric cooler, choose from 26 types of wine, and the cooler sets the temperature. Brookstone Sommelier Wine Chiller $100;
Tell this Internet-connected frame what types of photos you like. Using keywords, it will scan photo-sharing sites like flickr.com and automatically download images. 5.6-inch LCD. eStarling WPF-180 $250;
Surround Sound to Go
Turn any pair of headphones into a mini theater. Hook up this device between your phones and the audio source, and it simulates surround sound. JVC SUH-DH1 $130;
Print Photos that Last Centuries
With a color spectrum that rivals Canon´s best dye-based printers, this pro-quality printer uses pigment inks, which last more than 100 years. Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 Price not set;
Here´s a way to impose that one-hour-per-day TV cap you´ve mandated at home. Plug this gizmo into the wall, and your TV into its locked jack. The kids enter a four-digit PIN to turn on the set. When time is up, SquarePants goes dark. Hopscotch BOB $89;
Whip out the USB plug on this rechargeable gadget charger, and jack in your device. Moto- rola says the charger will juice up its own phones twice per charge, but it will work with almost any USB-charging gadget.
Motorola P790 $30; motorola.com
The trusty toolbelt loop gets an update. Slide the business end of a hammer into the adjustable saddle, and grab the handle (rather than the head) when there´s a nail that needs taming.
Prazi Quick Draw $15; praziusa.com
Talk to the Mouse
Make Internet phone calls from your laptop while on the road, but ditch the excess gear: Flip open this mouse, and it´s a VoIP handset.
Sony MouseTalk $80; sonystyle.com
Two Clocks in One
Sit the sphere on the base of this alarm clock to inductively charge it and sync the clocks. Place the sphere anywhere in the house, and a mini LCD projector inside casts the time on any surface.
Oregon Scientific Giovannoni TimeSphere $150; oregonscientific.com
Hit the highway with your downloaded and subscription music with the first car stereo that supports the digital-rights-management scheme of Napster and other such services. Plug your audio player into the USB jack to control and charge it through the stereo.
Dual Electronics XDMR7710 $250; dualav.com
Waterproof shoes aren´t much good if your feet are drowning in sweat. These trail runners are the first to use eVent, a water-shedding fabric that wicks moisture from the inside out.
Keen Ochoco Waterproof $119; keen.com
Changing your car´s oil becomes a royal pain when the drain plug falls into a bucket of hot oil. Won´t happen with this wrench set: Its sockets are magnetic.
GearWrench Oil Drain Plug Socket Set $72; gearwrench.com
Save it and forget about it. This portable 60-gig hard drive lets you display a list of what´s inside on its LCD screen, which retains the image without using any power.
SmartDisk FireLite Xpress $200; smartdisk.com
This amp separates the power supply from the main audio circuitry and monitors the voltage needs of the amp, adjusting power accordingly as the music plays. The result: sound that´s almost perfectly undistorted from the input signal, from 20 all the way to 20,000 hertz. Krell Evolution One, $50,000;
Guided By the Light
Having trouble cutting a straight line? Try a pair of laser-guided scissors. Click a button on the handle, and it emits a laser beam across whatever you´re slicing. Ideaworks Laser Scissors, $15;
This hands-free set can be connected to your landline and cellphone simultaneously, and it automatically adjusts volume and noise cancellation based on background din.
Sennheiser BW900 $330; sennheiser.com
Not only is this 7.1-megapixel pocket shooter waterproof to 10 feet, but the circuit board is on a shock-absorbing bracket, so it can withstand a five-foot fall. Olympus Stylus 720 SW, $400;
Slice your drive into the rainforest? A tiny radar chip in each ball communicates with the scanner so you can find it. RadarGolf, $250;
radargolf.com Click here for a hands-on review by PopSci’s GM.
Fully Custom Kicks
Soccer players change the spikes on their cleats based on the turf. These shoes let them go one step further. The insoles attach directly to the spikes and can be swapped to alter the stiffness of the shoe. Adidas +F50 Tunit $170;
Dimming? Pshaw! This lamp lets you control the kind of light it shines. Half of its LEDs are yellow-hued, and half are bluish. With all 20 on, the lamp is neutral. Go blue for intense light, yellow for soft.
Herman Miller Leaf Light $525; hermanmiller.com
Suck It Up
Putting the hose three inches off the floor-instead of the typical 30 to 45-increased this vacuum´s suction nearly sixfold. It also brought the center of gravity down to make the vac more stable.
Electrolux Intensity $300; electrolux.com
Since you can´t hike with a Weber, take this packable stainless-steel grill. It weighs just over a pound and disassembles into a tube shorter than a spatula.
Grilliput $30; grilliput.com
The Remote that Surfs the Web
This universal remote downloads a free program guide from the Web by Wi-Fi. It also displays news and weather on the 1.95-inch screen. Acoustic Research Wi-Q $300;
At 8.9 inches long and half an inch thick, this smallest-ever document scanner rips text and color graphics to its eight-megabyte memory and charges via USB.
PLANon DocuPen RC800 $300; planon.com