Since the launch of the iPhone, touchscreen technology has become big business. Everywhere you look at the moment, people are jabbing away at screens: from Canary Wharf's brand new navigation system to various phones, music players and even children's toys.
Although US tech blog TechCrunch's dream of a tablet-style 'Crunchpad' turned into a nightmare earlier this month, the US edition of Wired Magazine has nevertheless declared 2010 'the year of the tablet PC'. This is partially because the price of producing touchscreen technology has dropped so much, but mostly because there are rumours both Apple and Dell are working on their own versions of the ultra-light computers.
Until they're released, though, the best product on offer is undoubtedly Asus' Eee T91, a clamshell netbook which has a revolving touchscreen that flips back to turn it into a tablet. And at just £359, you'll have enough change to go and buy that MacBook Touch when it's finally released.
If you find your desk drawers have transformed into pulsating masses of tangled cables which have begun to take on a life of their own, it's time to simplify.
Powermat is a universal charger which allows you to wirelessly charge up to three separate devices at the same time. Just clip a Powermat enabled receiver on the device, put it on the mat and watch it charge.
There are drawbacks - at the moment, the receivers only fit iPhones, Nintendo DS and Blackberrys, but there is also a Powercube (£29.99), which connects to other devices by USB, and an Apple dock.
That said, more products are expected to be added to the line - so if you want to get rid of those chargers, it could be a sound investment.
To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the Kindle is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike books - and there's certainly a suspicion Amazon had Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy firmly in its sights when it commissioned its seminal ebook reader, released in the US earlier this year.
If you're a business owner, though, chances are you'll be less in need of the recipe for Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters and more in need of a handy way to transport the reams of paper, books and reports you lug around on a daily basis.
Good news, then: The Kindle stores up to 1,500 books, and, if you get the larger DX version (a less affordable $489) you can open PDF files on your device. Amazon prides itself The Kindle comes with a free 3G connection (no wifi, though), which allows you download one of the 360,000 books, newspapers and blogs in its store in 'under 60 seconds'.
Uploading documents to the Kindle is a bit more challenging, though. You either need to email them to Amazon to be converted to the right format at a cost of 15 cents (9p), or use stand-alone software Calibre to convert them and transfer them via a USB cable.
Complex, no? At least the Hitchhiker's Guide had 'don't panic' written on its cover.
Words: Emma Haslett
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