$230 • www.olympusamerica.com
Olympus recently unwrapped its Stylus Tough-3000 camera at the Consumer Electronics Show. The Tough-3000 is the first of the company's rugged line to offer HD video capture (720p) and is also the most affordable Tough model. It can withstand a 5-foot drop, is submersible to 10 feet and works in temperatures as low as 14 degrees. These are basically the same specs as the existing $280 Stylus Tough-6000.
The Stylus Tough-3000 includes Olympus' familiar Art Filter in-camera effects, now renamed Magic Filter. The effects include Pop Art, Pin Hole, Fish-Eye and Drawing, which turns images into sketches.
The new rugged line of cameras also offers AF auto-tracking for locking in on fast-moving subjects, as well as a new Pet Mode for tracking your greyhounds and other speedy animals. Olympus says it has improved the user interface for more intuitive operation and added software for faster downloading and support for features like geotagging.
The Stylus Tough-3000 will be available in February in red, pink, blue and green (so you can't lose it in the snow).
LIGHTWEIGHT SMARTBOOK THROUGH AT&T
$TBD • www.mobinnova.com
The latest device that AT&T has picked up to sell through partners is the Mobinnova Beam.
The Beam fits into the smartbook category, meaning it's a tiny laptop running on a chip that uses the ARM architecture rather than the x86 architecture favored by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. In this case, the Beam uses the second iteration of Nvidia's Tegra chip.
Mobinnova has created a customized interface for the Beam that sits on top of both Windows and the Android software from Google. The software basically turns the computer into a lightweight entertainment center.
Instead of firing up the standard Windows or Android start menu, the Beam, available later this year, opens a screen that directs people right to their photos, movies and music.
The Beam weighs 2 pounds and is even thinner and smaller than a netbook. And thanks to some of the gee-whiz features in Nvidia's chips, the computer can play high-definition movies for more than 10 hours or last all day if you're just surfing the Web.
NEW YORK TIMES