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GIZMOS
By 16 August 2012 | Categories: gizmos

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McLaren MP4-12C Spider

The Spider edition of the McLaren MP4-12C has been unveiled just in time for summer. It boasts a retractable hardtop roof, operated by a system that enables the driver to lower the roof and bask in the warm rays of the South African sun, even while the car is moving at low speed.
 
Besides this fancy roof, the MP4-12C Spider also features a 3.8L V8 twin-turbo powerplant that’ll rocket it from standstill to 100 km/h in just 3.1 seconds onto a top speed of 329 km/h. Yours for the unbelievably low price of R2 216 000 Stateside as of the end of this year.
 
 
Google Nexus 7" tablet
Google’s iPad and Kindle competitor is built in conjunction with Asus, and tips the tablet scales at a very portable 340 g. It is powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 T30L quad-core processor, running an 1.2 GHz, sports 1 GB of RAM and an LCD touchscreen (800 x 1280). Even more impressive is the asking price of below $200 (about R1 600) for the 8 GB version and $250 (R2 000) for the 16 GB Nexus.
 
Handling the operating is Google’s latest version of its popular mobile platform, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), bringing new features such as offline voice dictation and a new homescreen that will automatically adapt to fit a user’s content. In addition, the Nexus tablet will apparently offer a battery life between eight and nine hours. No local release info is available yet
 
 
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled
What to get the geek that has everything? The limited edition Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled box set includes six Blu-ray movies – Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, as well as The Avengers.
 
Besides the entire The Avengers discography, you also get a bonus Blu-ray disk filled to the hilt with exclusive bonus content such as artwork and prop reproductions. More importantly, the set also includes a glowing Tesseract to power their dreams of global domination or at least form the centrepiece of a geek universe. It’s only available in September on Amazon for $140 (around R1 160).
 
 
Ventura SPARC MGS W51 digital watch
The Ventura Sparc MGS Watch has no battery, instead boasting a MGS-11 (micro generator system) powered by the wearer’s wrist movements. To ensure that the watch doesn’t waste power, it features an energy management system with movement detector to engage its sleep mode at night when it’s on your bed stand.
 
Ventura’s Sparc MGS watch also sports an upgradeable operating system (EasySkroll v.2.0), which the firm says is a first for wristwatches. The privilege of powering your own watch? An electrifying $5400 (approximately R44 700).
 
 
Microsoft Surface tablets
It has been a long time coming, but at last Microsoft has revealed competitive tablets. Dubbed Surface, the new range comes in two flavours. The first is based on Intel’s zippy 22nm Ivy Bridge chips and runs Windows 8 Pro, while the second is based on an ARM chipset with Windows RT onboard.
 
Both come with a 10.6" ClearType HD Display (resolution unknown), while the Windows 8 version includes the ability to write with a stylus. At this stage price is unknown, but from what we’ve learned from market, Microsoft will do well to price it below the iPad.
 
 
Next gen MacBook Pro with Retina Display
After appearing in the iPhone and the new iPad, Apple’s Retina display is heading to their MacBook Pro notebook range. The 15.4" display offers an eye-popping resolution of 2880 x 1800 and pixel density of 220 ppi. With only 18 mm thickness to contend with, the notebook weighs two kilograms and is powered by a powerful quad-core Intel Core i7 processor running at 2.6 GHz, along with Nvidia’s GeForce GT 650M GPU.
 
Additionally, the new MacBook Pro offers full SSD storage, two USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, an SD card slot and HDMI port, but no optical drive. All this for a break-your-piggy-bank R24 000 for the model equipped with a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 and 256 GB flash storage or R30 000 for the version powered by a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 that comes with 512 GB worth of flash storage. 
 
 
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 compact
Point-and-shoot digital cameras may sport high pixel counts, but are still limited due to their meagre sensors that are frugal with the amount of light they’re able to deal with. Much like Canon did with their PowerShot G1 X, Sony is looking to counter this limitation by including a larger sized sensor. Featured onboard their all-aluminium high-end Cyber-shot RX100 is a 1" 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS sensor and a large-aperture F1.8 lens.
 
This compact snapper goes on sale Stateside this month for $650 (approximately R5 400), which also nets you a 3.6x optical zoom, control ring, and full HD (1080p) video recording.
 
 
Popeye punches his way onto luxury Rolex
Bamford Watch Department has enlisted the help of one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time – Popeye the Sailor – to inspire its exclusive navy-themed luxury watch collection. The company worked together with the King Features Syndicate and fashion designer Darren Romanelli, to create this customised Rolex Yacht Master timepiece that comes with an exclusive Popeye comic strip all cased within a Navy-themed metal box.
 
Only 20 of these watches have been created and are available at select outlets for around $32 500 (almost R269 500), which sadly puts it just out of reach of most sailors.
 
 
Beasty boy: Ducati Diavel Cromo motor-cycle
Other manufacturers  may shy away from using flashy chrome accents within the design of their motorcycles, but Ducati embraces it on its Diavel Cromo. This beast features a chromium-plated fuel tank that nicely contrasts the bike’s overall glossy black design.
 
Powering the devilishly handsome ride is a Testastretta 11° 1198 cc L-Twin cylinder Desmodromic engine that pushes out 119 kW at 9500 RPM and a tremendous 127.5 Nm of torque at 8000 RPM. Yours in the US for $18 995 (R157 335).
 
 
Light but no spec featherweight: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
Most ultrabooks pull the scales at about 1.5 kg. Chinese manufacturer Lenovo touts their X1 Carbon as the world’s lightest, weighing in at less than 1.3 kg. The X1 offers features we would like to see standard on all ultrabooks – a backlit keyboard, 3G connectivity, a fingerprint reader and Dolby Home Theatre sound, as well as the usual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports and an SD card slot.
 
We were impressed with Lenovo’s consumer-focused U300s ultrabook, so we can’t wait to get our hands on the business savvy X1 Carbon when it launches in the second half of 2012. No local pricing info is available yet.
 
 
For B&W lovers: Leica M Monochrom camera
For those harking back to the timeless and graceful era when black and white photos of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly graced magazine covers, Leica presents its M Monochrom camera. The company calls it the “first full-frame, 35 mm format digital camera to be designed exclusively and without any compromises for black-and-white photography.”
 
To back up that claim the M Monochrom sports an 18 MP sensor that “does not ‘see’ colours”, ISO up to 10 000, and compatibility with Leica’s full range of M lenses. The cost for this privilege? A mere $8 000 (R66 270). Needless to say our name is not on the order list.
 
 
Not a Swatch: A.S. M47-331 Military Tank watch
Only 500 of the A.S. M47-331 Military Tank watches were made to commemorate the completion of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second term as California governor. Each watch includes a letter from the former Govenator, informing buyers how his days as a M47 tank driver in the Austrian army inspired the design of this watch.
 
Buyers can strap one onto their manly wrists for the bargain basement price of $1 000 (R8 283). The proceeds will benefit After School All Stars, a charity that provides after-school programs to needy kids.

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