I recently borrowed the new T-Mobile HTC HD2 smartphone and, after about two weeks of playing around with it, I have to say: I have a big fat crush. The screen—an astounding 4.3"—is insanely sharp. In fact, I happened to receive the phone the day before hopping on a bus for 4 1/2 hours. For 2 1/2 of those hours, I entertained myself by watching Transformers...on the phone. Not only did the crystal clear image blow me away, let me point this out: the phone's battery was still half full by the end of the movie. Crazy!
Aside from the on-the-go entertainment value with the phone—all of the movies are available for renting or purchase through the phone's Blockbuster app—the phone itself is sleek, easy-to-use, and the touch screen über responsive. (Once I turned off that annoying guess-what-word-I'm-trying-to-spell feature that is becoming a staple in many new phones, it rarely, if ever, missed a key stroke.)
Question that I get asked all the time: I have a digital point-and-shoot camera that I like, but I want to take my photography to the next level. Can you recommend an easy-to-use DSLR camera that will take great images for years to come?
My new answer: The Nikon D5000.
I am really excited about this camera. It has a lot of the aspects you’d expect from Nikon: wonderful colors and metering, excellent image quality, sharp lens, HD video, but it has a new feature that really gets me—the flip-and-twist LCD screen.
I recently discovered a designer whose attire I find irresistible—as I suspect it is (or will be) for many an active, trendy, and socially conscious traveler. Alp-n-Rock’s tees are chic, original, and eco-friendly (made in California from organic cotton and recycled materials); more importantly, they directly contribute to a wonderful philanthropic effort.
By purchasing an Alp-n-Rock shirt (which range from $85-$260), you’re helping to send a child to school. The apparel company donates 10% of its profits to Room to Read, an organization that finances education for girls in developing countries (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zambia). Room to Read has already sent 4 million children to school and built 10,000 libraries; Alp-n-Rock founder Susanne Reich’s personal ambition is to give 1,000 girls an education using her brand’s proceeds.
Steven Alan, the man responsible for the proliferation of plaid shirts throughout New York and, increasingly, around the country, recently took a break from his day job. He went to Australia, in fact, to soak up Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef. It was the Perfect Vacation—one that you can take, too—with an itinerary crafted by Tourism Australia in collaboration with Virgin Airlines. And from it, he designed the Perfect Bag—a leather and waxed cotton carryon with rope detailing (and, yes, some signature plaid cotton lining the exterior pockets) inspired by his experience Down Under.
OK, OK, we're a bit giddy over 3floz.com the genius new high-end beauty site (it launched today)—and for good reason. Founded by friends, co-workers, and longtime travel companions, Kate and Alexi (below), it only sells products
that are TSA acceptable (small enough to carry-on in those transparent
little plastic baggies we frequent travelers hold so dear).
Trekking through this year's Consumer Electronics Show in the vast Las Vegas Convention Center, every three steps seemed to bring another new e-book reader; tales of 3D's impending invasion; or glimpses into the not-so-distant future of home automation. But we decided to venture away from those cliché categories and take the exhibition aisles less traveled. Good thing we did. Because T+L discovered 10 truly game-changing gadgets to help you better enjoy your journeys.
SLIDESHOW: Best Travel Gadgets from the Consumer Electronics Show 2010
This first handful of products represents some of the very latest, coolest and smartest innovations and trends. This second handful of products represents different twists on how we do video on-the-go...See the slideshow and prepare to be wowed!
Guestblogger Scott Tharler is a gadget, gambling and travel expert currently based in Biddeford, Maine.
On a recent journey to Iceland, I discovered 66° North. Named for the island’s Arctic latitude, this rugged outdoor clothing line is a favorite of Icelandic explorers, mountain guides and the Olympic ski team, competing in the 2010 Winter Games at Vancouver next month. While climbing around glaciers, riding horses in the highlands, and fishing on a long-line day boat off the Westfjords, I wore a black weatherproof Esja parka ($456). My first hoodie! So what if I looked like Kenny from "South Park"?
Seems we at T+L aren’t the only ones on a constant search for the perfect carry-on bag. Enter New York mixologist Jim Meehan, the brains behind PDT—a hidden lounge attached to a hot dog joint in Manhattan’s East Village, serving classically and seasonally inspired drinks (recently named the World’s Best Cocktail Bar by Tales of the Cocktail Spirit Award '09, with Meehan as American Bartender of the Year).
In the Prada Universe nothing is as it seems. When I attend Prada shows in Milan, I sit transfixed, looking for a hint of the message. What did she mean by that bag? Are the heels on those shoes broken or are they meant to be angular and impossible to walk on? Is that just a wayward thread hanging, or do I see it on other garments? Why are the models smiling?
This season, the Prada show started innocently with basic grey suiting fabrics in designs that one would wear to work. Oh, she’s going back to her utilitarian roots?! But wait, now there's this whimsical beach scene with palm trees that evokes holidays in the sun and ocean breezes.
The vacation scene caught my eye, since I am always on the look out for travel references.
An interesting hybrid between digital point-and-shoots and bigger, bulkier DSLRs, the new Olympus E-P1 ($799) combines a lot of the best of both worlds. (Tech writer Jonathan Blum does a great job summing it up here.)
What excites me the most about this camera is the pinhole-camera mode, which approximates the unpredictable, low-fi charm of a 120 Holga or Diana toy camera. It has a way of making the most prosaic of scenes look strangely appealing, with crazy-vivid color. The center is in focus, and the edges blurred out and nicely vignetted.