e-Life on the Go Page 5
Day Four: Beach on Key Biscayne What? A long weekend in Miami without a day at the beach? Impossible! We tossed two beach chairs into the car and found a spot where sand meets sea. The lifeguard was off duty (more privacy for us), and the nearest neighbors were way down the beach kiteboarding, so we settled in for some serious action - superspy action, of the Tom Clancy kind, that is. Nokia N-Gage cellphones
We both had a Nokia N-Gage cellphone, an interesting combination of technologies that will make the games on most cellphones whimper away in embarrassment. We plugged cartridges for Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell into our N-Gages and battled each other via a Bluetooth connection. (There's a host of other games available from Nokia, including Lara Croft's Tomb Raider, with online capabilities.) Cellphone functions can be activated with any GSM carrier, such as T-Mobile, AT&T, and most Cingular regions, but it's not compatible with Verizon. The N-Gage has complete multimedia messaging, e-mail, and Web browsing. Who needs an office when you can use this to work at the beach?
We Bluetoothed our cruise-ship photos from the Eye-Q camera to the N-Gage and then e-mailed them to Leslie's mom. (Later, we called her on the N-Gage to see if she liked them.) It took about 30 seconds per image to transfer the files from camera to phone. They looked as good on the N-Gage as on the Eye-Q - not great, but they told the story. If Bluetooth isn't your thing, there's also a USB port. And the N-Gage has an FM radio, a MultiMediaCard to store music or images, and a RealOne player for your music. There's even a music composer. Ken didn't like the built-in ring tones, so we programmed some Beethoven into his phone.
We looked über-cool playing games on the N-Gages, but when we had to use their side-mounted speakers and mikes to make phone calls, it looked like we were talking into tacos, cramping our too-hip style. We just heard, though, that a new, smaller model - the N-Gage QD - has gone through an extreme makeover to look less like a taco shell. PDF: Fast Facts
Back to RealityHeading to Miami International, sunburned and happy, we reflected on the success of our vacation (otherwise known to the IRS as a "business trip"). Today's electronic gear is very impressive. Whether you need a notebook computer, a hard-disk music/video player, a cellphone, a PDA, a game controller, or a camera, you'll find scores of diminutive models waiting to serve and amuse you.
Everything we tested performed well, and we were very impressed by their high degree of interconnectivity. Sure, some models won't talk to others, but between SD and CF slots, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and FireWire and USB, you can move data from one to another. That greatly enhances the utility of the gadgets you're bound to amass.
As we wrapped up our report (writing on the Toshiba), we concluded that this gear easily coped with both the heat and humidity of sea-level Miami. But how well, we wondered, could it handle the thin air and snowy slopes of Switzerland? We hope the editors will want to find out.