The weekly gadget review

By November 26, 2007

This week, Atelier reviews what is trendy on the web magazine of our great expert contributor. is dedicated to consumer electronics news and reviews.   VW Beetle to run on electricity This interesting Volkswagen Beet

le might look all beat up from the outside, but inside the boot you'll find an electric engine. The entire setup costs $29,995 - but think about the amount of dough you'll save in the long run whenever you laugh at friends who moan and groan about ever rising oil prices. It costs just two cents per mile to charge its batteries, and comes with a 120 volt built-in charger. This electrified Beetle can hit a top speed of 75 MPH with a 70 mile range, and will be able to make it from San Franciso to New York and back at the cost of a mere $112. Acceleration-wise, this car ain't too shabby either, hitting 40 MPH from a standing stop within 6 seconds.     E-mood furniture lights up the home Duravit has unveiled its e-mood furniture range that boasts a lighting concept that comes with different programmable mood lighting. The light and color programs are controlled by touch LEDs located on the product itself, giving you the perfect ambience as you wind down after a hard day's work. The multi-functional e-board accommodates a soap dispenser, a tissue dispenser, a cosmetics shelf and a power outlet - all without ugly looking cables sticking out. There is also a built-in light sensor that turns on the night light automatically whenever dusk falls so you won't accidentally stub your toe against a piece of furniture in the kitchen.     Solar-powered blinds in the works Students from Blakewater College in Blackburn, England have managed to come up with blinds that not only prevent sunlight from seeping into the room, it also helps keep the earth green by absorbing sunlight and converting it into energy. The environmental impact of such an invention would be tremendous assuming it takes off on a large scale - buildings will be able to collect solar energy every single day, storing power for use at night. Hopefully some manufacturer will sit up and take notice of the potentially huge market where solar-powered products are concerned. Guess these solar-powered blinds would go down extremely well with Solar Energy curtains.     Bluetooth headset hides in phone You know how cordless mice come with dongles that are attached to your mouse when not in use? Chinese company Naxin has developed a cellphone known as the NX788. This GSM dualband handset comes with a standard Bluetooth headset located behind which can be unlatched when required, and placed in position whenever you need to charge it. In addition, the NX788 boasts Bluetooth A2DP support and a dual SIM card function, a 1.3 megapixel camera, a microSD memory card slot, the ability to play MP3 and MPEG-4 files as well as a QVGA touchscreen display. It currently retails in Hong Kong for $190, so you'll probably never see it Stateside.     Desktop Basketball the manual way What happens if you're all cooped up in your cubicle the whole day long with no chance whatsoever to sweat it out on the basketball court? An alternative would be the USB Basketball Dunking Game, but what if you do not have a USB port in the vicinity? There is always the manual Desktop Basketball game that comes with a couple of launchers, two miniature basketballs and a single backboard. Hone your skills alone or pit your finger power with another friend to see who races to 24 points first. The Desktop Basketball retails for £4.99 a pop.     Super-cooled CPU case ProStreet CPU case comes covered with a whole bunch of fans - 20 on both the left and right sides, 8 fans on the rear and front sides as well as 10 located on top for a grand total of 66 fans. While it might keep everything running cool and just dandy, you will definitely agree that it is one of the ugliest casings ever to date. All those fans being stucked in places that aren't supposed to be there in the first place do not a pretty PC case make.     Contract-less iPhones not cheap at all We mentioned about unlocked iPhones going on sale in Germany yesterday, and here are the latest developments. It seems that T-Mobile will be offering the iPhone without any contract for an insanely high price of 999 Euros. In addition, T-Mobile has to unlock free of charge for customers who bought the iPhone since November 19th. Logically speaking, an unlocked iPhone would mean the lack of Visual Voicemail, although that remains to be confirmed. Do you think this locked iPhone issue is overblown, and Apple ought to stick to its original strategy of selling the iPhone with a plan, or to just bow to consumer and industry pressure by offering standalone units?     Mexico gets online Apple Store Mexicans can finally stop drumming their fingers in anticipation of an online Apple Store in their country as the long wait is finally over. This online store allows Mexican shoppers to take advantage of better value instead of shopping at the US store. As part of its grand opening, lucky folks will be able to pick up a MacBook each day as well as an iPod nano each hour. One down, plenty of other countries to go. Find all the sources, and discover more consumer electronics news and reviews at FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at

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