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The 15 Minutes Products Evaluation Team (PET)

Tim Boxer
Senior PET

Johnathan Boxer
Junior PET


[ Tom Tom ] [ Kodak M1093 ] [ iConvert Slide and Negative Scanner ] [ Norton 360 ]
[ Belkin Mini Surge Protector, CoolStrip ] [ Clickfree ] [ Magellanís ]


Tom Tom Gets You There

ITH a Tom Tom navigation system itís a snap to get where youíre going. Plug the unit into your car charger and youíre good to go. The Tom Tom GO 930 is top of the line, so thatís what I got to test.

What a beauty this co-pilot is! Press down to open and you get your current location. Tap the center of the touch screen to get the main menu and choose your options. Quite easy to learn. I didnít need my Gabe the geek to tell me what to do. The User Guide explains everything simply and clearly.

You can type in your destination, or vocalize for hands-free operation, and your Tom Tom GO will guide you there with on-screen directions as well as talk to you. Youíll get to where youíre going safe and sound Ė thanks to your impeccable driving skills. The battery gives you juice up to five hours.

You can get this navigation system for $400 (originally priced at $500). See more at www.tomtom.com. And remember what the wise old philosopher, Prof. Irwin Corey, would say: Wherever you go, there you are.

 

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Making Beautiful Pictures

ODAKíS EasyShare M1093 IS Digital Camera can do much. It reduces blur from camera shake, its face detection automatically adjusts the settings, and it works in low light with an ISO up to 3200. Its Smart Capture identifies the scene and adjusts camera settings.

It has 10MP, a 3x optical zoom lens which is 35 mm equivalent to 35Ė105 mm, 32MB internal memory, and works with SD memory card. View results on the large 3.0 LCD, or show your pictures in high definition on an HDTV or other HD devices. When you make a slide show, you have a choice of pre-loaded music to accompany the pictures.

Being a Kodak product, this camera is simple to set up and operate. Results are pretty good, too. Pictures are spectacularly beautiful. Price: $199.95. www.kodak.com.

 

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Turn Slides Digital

OW you can take all those slides and negatives out of your shoe box, the ones youíve been saving from the Ď70s and Ď80s, and convert them into digital images that you can store on your computer or on disks. Brookstone has the answer with its iConvert Slide and Negative Scanner.

Plug the 35mm scanner into the USB port, place your slides or negatives on the tray, and hit scan. BAM! You just forwarded your old pictures into the digital age. With hundreds of slides to convert, you must invest a little time ó the machine converts just three slides at a time. Price $99.95 at www.brookstone.com.

 

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Safeguard Your PC

EST comprehensive protection for your computer is Symantecís new Norton 360, version 2.0. It does almost everything you would want in order to streamline your computer and maintain peak performance. Use it for up to three PCs.

The Norton 360 works to thwart against virus, worms, spyware and phishing invasions. You can also restore deleted files, remove clutter, guard against identity theft and backup valuable files to iPods, Blu-ray discs and HD DVDs.

Norton AntiVirus 2009 comes with Antispyware. Includes technology for faster scans and updates your system every 5 to 15 minutes. For additional protection get Norton Internet Security 2009 which blocks threats with a firewall, blocks phishing websites, and offers automatic login and form filling.

 

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Belkin Must-Haves

ELKIN has two items that will allow you to work more efficiently. As you travel be sure to carry a Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger. It has three AC outlets and two powered USB outlets to recharge your MP3 player, mobile phone, portable hard drive, digital camera, BlackBerry and, of course, your laptop. Itís a charger and surge protector combined. $24.99.

A cool idea is Belkinís Laptop CoolStrip. Keep your laptop from heating up on the bottom. Raise your laptop on this CoolStrip and youíll be assured of keeping your working laptop in cool condition. Works with laptops up to 17 inches. $19.99.

 

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Clickfree For Backup

HAT do you do with 26,000 songs or 56,000 photos or 120 hours of video or 240,000 documents laying in your hard drive? Surely youíd be searching for an answer to back Ďem all up safely and securely.

Clickfree is the simplest answer. There is no software to install; works right out of the box. Simply connect the Clickfree Portable Hard Drive HD701 to your computer and it will automatically organize and backup all your data.

More information at www.goclickfree.com where the HD701 Hard Drive is $129.99.

You can also backup your data on DVD. Clickfree Music Backup searches and stores up to 3,000 songs on three DVDs. Clickfree Photo Backup holds 2,000 files on three DVDs. And Clickfree Office Backup copies up to 27,000 files onto three DVDs. Each 3-DVD set is priced at $9.99.

 

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Essentials For Your Trip

HAT do you need for that trip youíre planning? You can be sure Magellanís has you covered. Check out some of their offerings at www.magellans.com and youíll find the following must-have items among many other indispensable products.

Heys Mobilis Luggage, a Magellanís exclusive, is ultra-lightweight yet tough to absorb impact. Four rotating wheels affords utmost maneuverability, making it easy to move it down long corridors. Much better than the two wheels you usually get on rolling suitcases. The handle is recessed to enable flat packing. Another plus. If you need more room, it can expand an additional two inches. It also comes with a built-in TSA-accepted three-dial combo lock. Available in black or silver. 24" Hard-Sided Upright, LC407, $179.

Make sure your luggage is within airline requirements. Travelite Luggage Scale, another Magellanís exclusive, with its T-bar shape makes it simple to lift up a heavy suitcase to determine its weight. A red LED tells you itís over 50 pounds; a green means itís under 50 pounds and youíre good to go. Even includes a built-in flashlight. Item KT123, $24.85.

GreatLITE is a powerful little (3.5 inches long) flashlight thatís 3Ĺ inches long. Its nine LED bulbs will last for six hours of continuous use. Itís water resistant and textured for a secure grip. Two in a package (item SP141) for $12.85.

Carabiner Watch from Dakota is water resistant to 100 feet. With its aluminum clip you can secure the watch to your belt or daypack. The classic analog dial also has military display. Batteries included. BA123, $34.85.

Suede Shirt-Jacket is another Magellanís exclusive. Soft, light-weight, wrinkle resistant and it lies flat. Believe it or not, itís even machine washable. This manís shirt is long enough, with a seven-button front, button cuffs and ten pockets, to fill in as a jacket. Comes in Khaki and Espresso. MO814, $169.50.

Scottevest Evolution Jacket is a wonderful is a wonderful jacket thatís designed to hold all your electronics while youíre on the go. There are 25 hidden pockets and compartments inside and out in which to carry such items as cell phone, iPod, camera plus maps, guidebooks, tickets, passport or whathaveyou. With detachable sleeves and hood, you can wear this jacket as a vest when weather permits. Fully lined. Black or Blue. MO816, $149.50.

Leather Backpack looks rugged and heavy, but is actually sturdy and lightweight. Features roomy main compartment and pockets for cell phone, PDA, and iPod. A padded compartment will hold your laptop or anything else youíre carrying. Made of dark brown leather with padded shoulder straps, a good grab handle and antique brass hardware. LB093, $119.

MiniClip Microlight Watch attaches to your belt loop for a handy look at the time of day. Has a built-in red LED light. Water resistant to 100 feet. Comes with batteries. Available in Orange, Silver, Green or Blue. BA104, $39.85.

Denim Comfort-Stretch Pants another Magellanís exclusive, is so soft and smooth, itís a wonderful pair of jeans. Double pleated front and hemmed bottom. Has five pockets and a hidden security pocket. Made of wrinkle resistant cotton with a touch of Lycra for stretch. Very comfortable pair of travel slacks. MP816, $59.50.


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