World’s Thinnest Gadgets
By Andrew Eisner
Thin is in. Not only do thin gadgets look cool, they often use less power. Here's a collection of some of the thinnest gadgets in the world. Of course, if you know of something thinner let us know.
|If you thought the Apple iPod Nano was thin then check out this MP3 player that's as thin as a credit card. The Walletex Wallet MP3 player is about as thin as you can get and it’s waterproof to boot. It stores up to 4 GB and they claim you can get over 4 hours of play back on a single charge.|
|Modelabs makes a super thin Bluetooth headset called the Bluetrek Metal. It's only 4 mm thick and weighs only 5.5 grams. It's very stylish and comes in silver or black. It's not available yet in the United States but you can buy one in Europe for around $70.|
Thin TV Sets
This past January we saw the thinnest Plasma TV at CES, the 50" Pioneer Kuro “concept” Plasma TV. It was 9 mm thick and was displaying video (honest it was). We haven't heard any more about it since January although it might have something to do with the announcement that Pioneer is going to stop manufacturing their own Plasma TVs (they recently selected Panasonic to make the panels for them).
Sony has started selling its 3 mm thick OLED TV that offers amazing image quality. Once you see the gorgeous picture quality of an OLED TV, you’ll want to own one. There is some question about how soon the image starts to degrade but for now, who cares? You can be the first one on your block to own the 11 inch XEL-1 HDTV with 2 HDMI inputs for a mere $2,499.
|50" Pioneer Kuro||Sony XEL-1|
Announced at CES 2008 and due to ship any day are two super thin LCD TVs from JVC. The 42-inch LT-42SL89 and 46-inch LT-46SL89 HDTVs. Both are members of the Procision family. Depth runs from 39 mm (1.5”) to 74 mm (2.4” inches) at the center of the panel. Both run 1080p but don’t include tuners and are expected to sell for $1,899.99 and $2,399.99, respectively. They also weigh less (12kg) and use less energy (145W) than most other sets of this size.
Joining the 39 mm club, Hitachi has a series of super thin HDTV sets which are part of the Director Series and the UltraVision V series. The sets are also 39 mm thick and include some impressive features like 120Hz, de-judder smoothing circuitry, and fanless ventilation. The hitch is they don't include built-in tuners which isn't a big deal if you are feeding the TV from cable or satellite. The Ultravision S series includes an add-on unit with an ATSC tuner. Sizes range from 32 inches to 47 inches with prices ranging from $1,799 to $4,699.
LG is offering the Scarlet 42LG61, a 44.7 mm (1.76”) 42 inch LCD TV with a tuner for around $2,400. It offers 120Hz refresh and four HDMI ports.
|Hitachi Super-thin HDTVs||LG Scarlet 42LG61|
Thin Laptops: MacBook Air vs. Voodoo PC Envy (from HP)
First there was the Macbook Air, so thin it fits inside a standard-size manilla envelope. The MacBook Air is an impressive laptop but can be a little on the pricey side at well over $2,000 for a decently configured model. It also lacks some useful features like an ethernet adapter (you can’t be all WiFi all the time). HP is offering a Windows-based competitior to the Macbook Air with the Envy133 which comes from the Voodoo PC group and edges out the Air’s thinness by a fraction of an inch. The MacBook Air is 0.76” and weighs just under 3 lbs. while the Envy133 measures 0.70” but weighs a tad more than the Macbook at 3.4 lbs. Both laptops offer similar features like a 13.3” LCD display with LED backlight. The big difference is the Envy133 runs Windows out of the box. The Envy133 will start at $2,099.
Thin Cell Phones
There’s Motorola’s razor thin MotoRAZR V3 at 13.9 mm thick which started the thin cell phone movement and now there are other super thin cell phones starting to appear on the scene.
Nokia has a very thin cell phone coming soon called the E71. It's 10 mm thick and has all the E series features like WiFi, HSDPA, A-GPS, a 3.2 megapixel camera and a front facing camera for video chat. It's not going to be cheap at over $500 when it goes on sale in the US which is any time now.
LG will be shipping a new addition to its Black Label Series which currently includes phones like the Chocolate and the Shine. The new phone called the Secret (model number LG-SU600, we think), is made of carbon fiber, weighs 116 grams (4 oz), is 11.8 mm (.46”) thick, has a 5 megapixel camera with face detection (who needs a camera now?), 120 fps video recording and includes a tempered glass, touchscreen display.
|Motorola MotoRAZR V3||Nokia E71||LG Secret|
BenQ's new 8 megapixel T850 camera is 14.9 mm thick (at thinnest part) and includes a "swipe" gesture interface, which BenQ claims is unique among touch screen cameras. It will come in black and red and include a 3x optical zoom, 3-inch display, image stabilization and face technology. The price hasn't been announced just yet, but you'll be able to get this one in black or red when it launches in the (presumably) not too distant future. According to BenQ’s specs their current 8MP camera, the X800 is a tad thinner at 9.8 mm (at thinnest part).
Casio’s Exilim EX-S10 is another skinny camera measuring 13.8 mm at its thinnest part. It’s a 10.1 MP camera with a 2.7 inch display. It weighs 4 ounces and has some cool features like a Movie Button and motion blur technology that can snap a picture when someone smiles.
|BenQ T850||Casio Exilim EX-S10|
Products Mentioned in this Article
Walltex Wallet MP3 Player, 4 GB credit card sized MP3 player
Modelabs Bluetrek Metal Bluetooth headset, not available in U.S yet
50” Pioneer Kuro “Concept” Plasma TV, on exhibit at CES 2008
Sony XEL-1 OLED TV, One of first OLED TVs on the market
Envy133 from Voodoo PC (HP), Windows based laptop that’s thinner than the MAcbook Air
MotoRAZR V3, thin cell phone from Motorola
BenQ T850, thin 8 MP camera
Casio Exilim EX-S10, 10.1 MP camera with some new features
Retrevo Has Reviews and Manuals
Whether you’re in the thick of searching for a gadget or your wallet is looking thin, Retrevo has information on all the latest gear and gadgets. You can find reviews and manuals for all the most popular consumer electronics products like GPS, Digital Cameras, HDTV, and more.